Wilder, wetter cyclones will hit Japan's economy

时间:2019-03-08 08:07:08166网络整理admin

By Shanta Barley Typhoons are Japan’s least welcome visitors. Every year, about 30 of the subtropical twisters visit the country, sometimes with devastating consequences. Just this week, 13 people died in the south-west of the country. If as some expect typhoons, also called tropical cyclones, become stronger with climate change, then the destruction will only increase. What hasn’t been considered is that Japan might be in for an economic shock, too. To estimate the bill the country will have to pick up in the future, Miguel Esteban at the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama, Japan, and his colleagues ran computer simulations to estimate the number of working hours that will be lost to typhoons in 2085. Previous research has suggested that higher carbon-dioxide levels and warmer sea-surface temperatures will drive cyclonic winds to whirl 6 per cent faster in 2085, dumping almost a fifth more rain. Currently, typhoons hit southern parts of the Japanese archipelago most strongly, but Esteban’s model predicts that they will also strike hard further north in future, forcing more people to stop work and ports to close more often. That’s bad news for Japan, because almost a third of the country’s GDP comes from trade. The simulations suggest that cyclones could rob Japan of 0.15 per cent of its GDP in 2085. In today’s money that would mean a yearly typhoon-cost of more than ¥687 billion – some $7.2 billion, or about $60 per capita. Japan will be able to cope, however, says Samuel Fankhauser of the London School of Economics – other countries should worry more about climate change. “Other parts of the globe may be much harder hit,” he says. “Relative to GDP, Africa’s climate damages at that time might be 50 times as much, or 7.5 per cent of GDP, for example.” More on these topics: