Journal or chapter

The economic costs of Hurricane Harvey attributable to climate change

Climatic Change (2020)

We used a probabilistic event attribution framework to estimate the costs associated with Hurricane Harvey that are attributable to anthropogenic influence on the climate system.

Results indicate that the “fraction of attributable risk” for the rainfall from Harvey was likely between a third and three quarters, which, when combined with the associated losses, led to an estimate of $67bn for the attributable costs for this event.

This “bottom-up” event-based estimate of climate change damages contrasts sharply with the “top-down” approach using integrated assessment models.

While the two approaches are not easily comparable, it is noteworthy that our “bottom-up” results estimate that one single extreme weather event contributes more to climate change damages in the USA than an entire year by the “top-down” method.


Modelling future extreme weather