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Title:Climate change impact on U.S. hurricane risk to residential buildings
Author(s):Pant, Sami
Director of Research:Cha, Eun Jeong
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Cha, Eun Jeong
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gardoni, Paolo; LaFave, James M.; Lombardo, Franklin T.
Department / Program:Civil & Environmental Eng
Discipline:Civil Engineering
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Hurricane, Climate change, Risk, Vulnerability, Residential buildings, Wind
Abstract:Hurricanes are one of the most disastrous natural hazards impacting the U.S. coastal regions causing a huge damage to property every year. The damages and losses during hurricanes can be attributed to the simultaneous occurrence of two major events - high intensity wind and heavy rainfall. Moreover, since hurricane is an atmospheric phenomenon, any changes in the present climate could impact both hurricane wind and rainfall, and the corresponding damages and losses. Studies have shown that future climatic conditions could be different compared to present with an overall increase in the sea surface temperature. This increase is found to be non-uniform spatially based on the projections provided by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2013). This could lead to varying effects on hurricane hazard and the corresponding losses across the different regions, resulting in some low risk regions observing a huge change in future hurricane risks whereas others observing only a slight change. Additionally, if the hurricane-prone regions are inhabited by marginalized population, then the overall hurricane risk in those regions would be even higher. Many studies have found that some population groups are more vulnerable to the hazard impact compared to others. In other words, the differences in vulnerabilities of the different population groups could result in regions inhabited by marginalized population to be more sensitive to the hazard compared to others. Consequently, assessment of climate-dependent hurricane risk considering the population vulnerability of the region could provide a more holistic information in estimating the potential assistance needs of the impacted population. Accordingly, in this research, a detailed analysis is performed to evaluate the regional hurricane risk across different U.S. coastal regions by considering the climate change impact on hurricane hazard, hurricane building damages and the corresponding losses. Residential buildings are selected for the damage and loss assessment since they are the most vulnerable structures to the hurricane hazard. Further, this research investigates climate change impact on hurricane risks considering the vulnerability of the impacted population. It is found that the wind speeds for different locations across the U.S. south and east coast increase by around 30-50 mph in future climate (year 2100 under RCP 8.5) compared to the present climate (year 2005). The increase in wind speed led to an increase in the average individual building losses by almost 3.5 times in future compared to present. This in turn greatly increases future regional hurricane losses. However, different regions are found to have different degrees of increase in the future losses, with higher percentage increases found to be in the northeast coast compared to the southeast coast. In addition, it is also found that regional hurricane risks are greatly affected by the vulnerability of the impacted population.
Issue Date:2019-11-19
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Sami Pant
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-03-02
Date Deposited:2019-12

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