Storms, Climate Change, and the US Economy: A National Analysis
Climate change models predict that storm frequency will decrease over time, while storm intensity will increase. This paper looks at the national effects of storm frequency and storm intensity on various industries in the US economy, using yearly data from 1977 through 1997. We find that yearly deviations in storm frequency and intensity around their state specific and year specific averages have a statistically significant effect on the gross state products of a number of industries. We use these estimated impacts to calculate the national economic consequences of changes in storm frequency and intensity that are predicted by climate change models. The results imply that a predicted drop in storm frequency leads to $5.6 billion in losses (0.07% of the US economy in 1997), while a predicted increase in storm intensity has no significant economic impact. Thus, though the effects of storms on gross industry product are statistically significant, their economic effects are small.
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