Open Access Article

Title: The suitability of disaster loss databases to measure loss and damage from climate change

Authors: Melanie Gall

Addresses: Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, Department of Geography, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29210, USA

Abstract: This paper explores the suitability of disaster loss databases for documenting impacts of climate change particularly those related to extreme weather and slow onset events. The goal is to clarify the utility, quality, and relevance of disaster loss metrics in the context of climate-sensitive hazards such as floods, tropical cyclones, droughts, and so forth. Although, disaster loss databases hold great potential for assessing some of the impacts from climate change, several modifications are required to enhance the utility of existing disaster loss databases, primarily in regard to data availability and quality. In order to effectively utilise disaster loss databases, loss metrics and hazard classifications should be broadened, time horizons for loss estimation expanded as well as loss estimation techniques improved along with a coordinated development and implementation of data and database standards.

Keywords: extreme events; climate change impact; natural hazards; loss and damage; measuring losses; disaster loss databases; natural disasters; slow onset events; data quality; data availability; loss estimation; database standards; data standards.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGW.2015.071966

International Journal of Global Warming, 2015 Vol.8 No.2, pp.170 - 190

Accepted: 01 Jun 2014
Published online: 25 Sep 2015 *