- Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
- A global data set of tropical cyclone exposure (TCE-DAT)
- climate risk modeling
- environmental risk assessment
- natural disasters
- socio-economic exposure
Tropical cyclones (TCs) pose a major risk to societies worldwide. While data on observed cyclones tracks
(location of the center) and wind speeds is publicly available these data sets do not contain information
about the spatial extent of the storm and people or assets exposed. Here, we apply a simplified wind
field model to estimate the areas exposed to wind speeds above 34, 64, and 96 knots.
Based on available spatially-explicit data on population densities and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) we estimate 1) the
number of people and 2) the sum of assets exposed to wind speeds above these thresholds accounting for
temporal changes in historical distribution of population and assets (TCE-hist) and assuming fixed 2015
patterns (TCE-2015). The associated country-event level exposure data (TCE-DAT) covers the period
1950 to 2015. It is considered key information to 1) assess the contribution of climatological versus socioeconomic
drivers of changes in exposure to tropical cyclones, 2) estimate changes in vulnerability from
the difference in exposure and reported damages and calibrate associated damage functions, and 3) build
improved exposure-based predictors to estimate higher-level societal impacts such as long-term effects on
GDP, employment, or migration.
We validate the adequateness of our methodology by comparing our
exposure estimate to estimated exposure obtained from reported wind fields available since 1988 for the
United States. We expect that the free availability of the underlying model and TCE-DAT will make
research on tropical cyclone risks more accessible to non-experts and stakeholders.
Files included in the data set:
(1) TCE-DAT_historic-exposure_1950-2015.csv: Exposed population and assets by event and country using historical socio-economic exposure estimates.
(2) TCE-DAT_2015-exposure_1950-2015.csv: Exposed population and assets by event and country
using fixed socio-economic exposure at 2015 values.
(3) Data-description_TCE-DAT_2017.005.pdf: full description of the data set including information on data sources and the description of variables/ data columns
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