Geophysical hazards stress urban social, economic and political systems, but many studies focus on single locations over short periods. The manner in which a natural disaster propagates across cities globally through urban trade networks remains unexplored. Starting from a novel empirical baseline model for global production and trade, here we develop a dynamical model for the spread of individual cyclone impacts across the world’s cities. We find that cities are vulnerable to economic harm even if they are geographically distant from the location of direct impacts of cyclones. These adverse secondary impacts are responsible for up to three-fourths of the effects of the largest storms and are generated primarily by cyclone exposure in North America and East Asia, in part because of the roles of these regions as principal purchasers and suppliers, respectively, of industrial materials. Vulnerability to adverse secondary impacts of cyclones is highest in cities that are strongly dependent on the global trade network but have relatively few suppliers. Our results suggest that, in addition to improvements in protective infrastructure, urban adaptation to storm damage and climate change might require modifications to trade network linkages.
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The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.
Simulation code can be accessed at https://github.com/chrisshughrue/GlobalUrbanCycloneImpactSimulation.
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Comments and suggestions from E. Lazarus helped us improve the manuscript.
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Direct, secondary, and total impacts versus time following a single large storm striking Seoul, New York City, Colombo, and Mysore.
Fractional change in production versus time at the city, country, and global scale by industrial sector for a single large storm striking Mysore, India.
Fractional change in unitary industrial input price versus time at the city, country, and global scale by industrial sector for a single large storm striking Mysore, India.
Direct (orange), secondary (blue), and total impacts (grey) to the economy of Japan in value added USD versus time for 2011 earthquake (A) and Nankai earthquake scenarios (B).
Cyclone tracks (purple polygons) between 1968 and 20093.
Root-mean square deviation of supply output normalized by baseline parameter output. Parameters are varied between 50% and 150% of the baseline value, with 100% representing the baseline parameter. Parameter sensitivity is calculated among randomly selected storms from the dataset.
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Shughrue, C., Werner, B. & Seto, K.C. Global spread of local cyclone damages through urban trade networks. Nat Sustain 3, 606–613 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-020-0523-8
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