Drought-Damage Functions for the Estimation of Drought Costs under Future Projections of Climate Change

Jenkins, Katie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6740-5139 and Warren, Rachel ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0122-1599 (2015) Drought-Damage Functions for the Estimation of Drought Costs under Future Projections of Climate Change. Journal of Extreme Events, 2 (1). ISSN 2345-7376

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Drought events and their impacts pose a considerable problem for governments, businesses and individuals. Superimposed on this is the risk of anthropogenic climate change. Climate models are increasingly being used to understand how climate change may affect future drought regimes. However, methodologies to quantify economic costs which could occur under these future scenarios are virtually non-existent. In this study, historic drought events were identified in regional precipitation data using the Standardized Precipitation Index, and their magnitude quantified and linked to reported economic costs. Drought damage functions were created for Australia, Brazil, China, India, Spain/Portugal and the USA. Projections of drought magnitude for 2003–2050 were modeled using the Community Integrated Assessment System, for a range of climate and emission scenarios, and future economic costs estimated. Severe and extreme drought events were projected to cause estimated additional losses ranging between 0.04 and 9 percent of national GDP in Australia, the USA and Spain/Portugal under future scenarios of climate change. The combined effect on global GDP from projected long-term drought events in the countries analyzed resulted in additional annual losses of 0.01 to 0.25 percent. This is considered conservative as the analysis is representative of seven countries only; does not incorporate the possibility of successive drought events, or compounding effects on vulnerability from interactions with other extreme events. Furthermore, it excludes indirect economic effects; social and environmental losses; the possibility of increasing vulnerability due to changing socio-economic conditions; and the possibility of irreversible or systemic collapse of economies as the study highlighted that under future climate change drought magnitude may exceed current experience potentially passing thresholds of social and economic resilience. Stringent mitigation had little effect on the increasing impacts of drought in the first half of the 21st century, so in the short-term adaptation in drought “hot spots” will be crucial.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: drought,standardized precipitation index,damage functions,integrated assessment,economic costs,climate change,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/climate_action
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2015 11:00
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 23:43
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/54728
DOI: 10.1142/S2345737615500013

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