Data Publications

A global data set of tropical cyclone exposure (TCE-DAT)

  • Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
  • 2017
  • A global data set of tropical cyclone exposure (TCE-DAT)
  • 10.5880/pik.2017.005
  • 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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