The impact of tropical cyclones on humans depends on the number of people exposed and their vulnerability, as well as the frequency and intensity of storms. How will the cumulative effects of climate change, demography and vulnerability affect risk? Conventionally, reports assessing tropical cyclone risk trends are based on reported losses, but these figures are biased by improvements to information access. Here we present a new methodology based on thousands of physically observed events and related contextual parameters. We show that mortality risk depends on tropical cyclone intensity, exposure, levels of poverty and governance. Despite the projected reduction in the frequency of tropical cyclones, projected increases in both demographic pressure and tropical cyclone intensity over the next 20 years can be expected to greatly increase the number of people exposed per year and exacerbate disaster risk, despite potential progression in development and governance.
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U. Deichmann (World Bank) for providing the GDP distribution; A. Maskrey (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) for finding the finances to supporting this study; R. Harding for English corrections.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Peduzzi, P., Chatenoux, B., Dao, H. et al. Global trends in tropical cyclone risk. Nature Clim Change 2, 289–294 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate1410
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