On the costs of hurricanes, insured and total, please see these two
Pielke, Jr., R. A., and C. W. Landsea, 1998: Normalized Hurricane
Damages in the United States: 1925-95. Weather and Forecasting,
American Meteorological Society, Vol. 13, 621-631.
Pielke, Jr., R. A., C. W. Landsea, M. Downton, and R. Muslin, 1999:
Evaluation of Catastrophe Models Using a Normalized Historical
Record: Why It Is needed and How To Do It. Journal of Insurance
Regulation. 18, pp. 177-194.
You can find some updated numbers using these methods here:
More on this:
[Response:Thanks for the links, Roger! I guess the question in this
case (referring to comment #33 regarding whether there really has
been a trend and the reference to Michaels and hurricane loss) boils
down to weighing the normalisation of hurricane loss (used to adjust
the trends in total hurricane loss) against the calculations by
Emanuel as well as the degree of representativeness in this case. -
Comment by Roger Pielke, Jr. 25 Aug 2005 @ 3:44 pm [/quote]
As you all know by now, I think that tropical storms are part of a
living earth which modulates climate electrically. Dampents it.
The most costly storms appear to be Andrew and a storm in 1928.
What I think is extremely important to consider is both Andrew and
that 1928 storm followed significant volcanic activity. That would
have meant that the atmosphere contained a greater degree of SOx
emissions, and then that in turn has significant microphysics
That is, rainwater has a pH of about 5.6. The cloud material of a
tropical storm, of course, contains a great deal of salts from spray
against the ocean, and that helps the extreme DC fields between
ocean and atmosphere that change microphysics to work in a different
dynamic. Consider, again, that the lower ionosphere is relatively
positively charged and the coupled regions on the ocean, with
opposing charges attracting, become relatively negative. SOx, as in
sulpher acids, are essentially a positively charged ion that will
exist in the super cooling water droplets in convecting clouds.
Those clouds will find more intense microphysics changes near the
negative aspect of the capacitive coupling--namely on the ocean
surface, given that the ionosphere is positively charged by
thunderstorms globally. It is no accident that the surface
mesovortices winds of Andrew and the 1928 storm were so intense.
Meanwhile, a storm like Bret which had a landfalling BP similar to
Andrew, essentially had low near surface winds, and was a
substantial flooding storm, capable of moving inland without slowing
as much from the friction of interacting with land. The danger of
storms, therefore, that come outside of periods when there is high
volcanic activity is flooding and stalling. The danger from storms
that occur relative to volcanic events, on the other hand, with high
SOx emissons is wind damage. This is how Andrew was what it was and
Mitch was what it was.
Again, if you do not look at the MECHANISM of cloud organization,
you fail to see the significance of the volcanoes, or the
significance of higher CO2 from human activity and what that added
CO2 means for more intense storms.
It also should be pointed out that in terms of assessing the damage
from a 'storm' what that storm means in relation to a living earth--
all of the earth. If there is a terrible drought and no hurricanes,
such as in the 1930s, you can make a conclusion about climate change
not warrented, as the 1930s gets to biological changes brought about
by human activity and hydrology, namely dams and levies and man made
lakes with the Mississippi, Rio, and Colorado rivers. Human
activity and CO2 has a general meaning, having to do with
conductivity meanings in the oceans, particularly a signal in lower
salinity zones in the oceans, where the relative ion count
increases. That is why the Pacific high has been so impacted, for