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Title: Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey

Abstract

Abstract The human influence on precipitation during tropical cyclones due to the global warming is now well documented in the literature. Several studies have found increases in Hurricane Harvey’s total precipitation over the Greater Houston area ranging from the Clausius-Clapeyron limit of 7% to as much as 38% locally. Here we use a hydraulic model to translate these attribution statements about precipitation to statements about the resultant flooding and associated damages. We find that while the attributable increase in the total volume of flood waters is the same as the attributable increase in precipitation, the attributable increase in the total area of the flood is less. However, we also find that in the most heavily flooded parts of Houston, the local attributable increases in flood area and volume are substantially larger than the increase in total precipitation. The results of this storyline attribution analysis of the Houston flood area are used to make an intuitive best estimate of the cost of Hurricane Harvey attributable to anthropogenic global warming as thirteen billion US dollars.

Authors:
ORCiD logo;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER)
OSTI Identifier:
1812242
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1812243; OSTI ID: 1813384
Grant/Contract Number:  
DE340AC02-05CH11231; AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Climatic Change
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Climatic Change Journal Volume: 166 Journal Issue: 1-2; Journal ID: ISSN 0165-0009
Publisher:
Springer Science + Business Media
Country of Publication:
Netherlands
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Wehner, Michael, and Sampson, Christopher. Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey. Netherlands: N. p., 2021. Web. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03114-z.
Wehner, Michael, & Sampson, Christopher. Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey. Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03114-z
Wehner, Michael, and Sampson, Christopher. Wed . "Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey". Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03114-z.
@article{osti_1812242,
title = {Attributable human-induced changes in the magnitude of flooding in the Houston, Texas region during Hurricane Harvey},
author = {Wehner, Michael and Sampson, Christopher},
abstractNote = {Abstract The human influence on precipitation during tropical cyclones due to the global warming is now well documented in the literature. Several studies have found increases in Hurricane Harvey’s total precipitation over the Greater Houston area ranging from the Clausius-Clapeyron limit of 7% to as much as 38% locally. Here we use a hydraulic model to translate these attribution statements about precipitation to statements about the resultant flooding and associated damages. We find that while the attributable increase in the total volume of flood waters is the same as the attributable increase in precipitation, the attributable increase in the total area of the flood is less. However, we also find that in the most heavily flooded parts of Houston, the local attributable increases in flood area and volume are substantially larger than the increase in total precipitation. The results of this storyline attribution analysis of the Houston flood area are used to make an intuitive best estimate of the cost of Hurricane Harvey attributable to anthropogenic global warming as thirteen billion US dollars.},
doi = {10.1007/s10584-021-03114-z},
journal = {Climatic Change},
number = 1-2,
volume = 166,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {2021},
month = {5}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-021-03114-z

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