Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States


General Information:

Author: Hsiang, S. et al.

Year of publication: 2017

Available languages: English

Details of Assessment:

Type of assessment: Climate change adaptation assessment

Format of assessment: Scientific article

Estimated costs for conducting: No information

Estimated duration of assessment: No information

To be carried out by whom: Consultants (climate experts)

Institutional scale of use: National

Assesment to be used by which target audience: State level decision makers

Output: Report

Details: The report will present a probabilistic, national damage function


Coverage & Methodology:

Region of origin: North America

Developed by which sector: Science

Applied in practice: Yes

Geographic coverage in analysis: North America

Potential geographic coverage: National

Details: It calculates losses of the entire economy so most sectors are inlcuded

Method used: Quantitative model

Description of methodology: The Spatial Empirical Adaptive Global-to-Local Assessment System (SEAGLAS) dynamically integrates and synthesizes research outputs across multiple fields in near-real time. SEAGLAS was used to construct probabilistic, county-level impact estimates that are benchmarked to GMST changes.

Risk framework used: No explicit use of risk framework

Risk components incorporated: Exposure

Hazards and impacts considered in the assessment: Cyclone (including tropical storm, hurricane and typhoon), Extreme rainfall, Sea level rise, Storm surge

Details: Data on distribution of equilibrium climate sensitivity, historical observations; Information on temperature, rainfall, mortality, enegry demand, agriculture, labor, crime- to be combined in BaYesian meta-analysis

Participatory elements: No

Consideration of interconnectedness and -dependencies of risks: Partly

Details: Looks at relationship of e.g. sea level rise and cyclones but not at the relationship between all hazards

Adressing uncertainty: No information

Details: Mentions that changes in agricultural practices, population changes etc. can impact outcomes and that not all data is certain, but uncertainties are not considered from a risk perspective

Scope of assessment: Identification of risks, assessment of impacts

Relevance for losses and damages:

Economic/Non-Economic losses incorporated: Economic

Details: Considers factors like mortality but gives them an economic value

Applicability for entire risk spectrum (from extreme weather events to slow onset processes): Yes


Recommendations for Adaptation measures included in Climate Risk Assessment: No

Usefulness for political purposes: It ca be useful for making economic choices on a political level especially because its scope is extremely broad

Applied by whom: Hsiang, S. et al.

Open access: Subscription required