Property loss potentials for European midlatitude storms in a changing climate

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Leckebusch, Gregor C. ; Ulbrich, Uwe ; Fröhlich, Luise ; Pinto, Joaquim G. (2007)

Winter storms of the midlatitudes are an important factor for property losses caused by natural hazards over Europe. The storm series in early 1990 and late 1999 led to enormous economic damages and insured claims. Although significant trends in North Atlantic/European storm activity have not been identified for the last few decades, recent studies provide evidence that under anthropogenic climate change the number of extreme storms could increase, whereas the total number of cyclones may be slightly reduced. In this study, loss potentials derived from an ensemble of climate models using a simple storm damage model under climate change conditions are shown. For the United Kingdom and Germany ensemble-mean storm-related losses are found to increase by up to 37%. Furthermore, the interannual variability of extreme events will increase leading to a higher risk of extreme storm activity and related losses.
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