Apr 8, 2020

The economic costs of Hurricane Harvey attributable to climate change

David J. Frame, Michael F. Wehner, Ilan Noy, Suzanne M. Rosier
Climatic Change

Key Abstract: Economic Costs of Hurricane Harvey

  • Finds that around $67 billion of the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey – which made landfall in Texas and Louisiana in August 2017 – is attributable to human-caused climate change
  • Uses a probabilistic event attribution framework to estimate the costs associated with Hurricane Harvey that are attributable to anthropogenic influence on the climate system
  • Results indicate that the “fraction of attributable risk” for the rainfall from Harvey was likely about at least a third with a preferable/best estimate of three quarters
  • Applying this fraction to the average estimate of damages from Harvey assessed at about US $90 billion gives a best estimate of US $67 billion, with a likely lower bound of at least US $30 billion