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Reply to Comment on 'High-income does not protect against hurricane losses'


Geiger,  Tobias
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Frieler,  Katja
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;


Levermann,  Anders
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

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Geiger, T., Frieler, K., Levermann, A. (2017): Reply to Comment on 'High-income does not protect against hurricane losses'. - Environmental Research Letters, 12, 9, 098002.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_21854
Recently a multitude of empirically derived damage models have been applied to project future tropical cyclone (TC) losses for the United States. In their study (Geiger et al 2016 Environ. Res. Lett. 11 084012) compared two approaches that differ in the scaling of losses with socio-economic drivers: the commonly-used approach resulting in a sub-linear scaling of historical TC losses with a nation's affected gross domestic product (GDP), and the disentangled approach that shows a sub-linear increase with affected population and a super-linear scaling of relative losses with per capita income. Statistics cannot determine which approach is preferable but since process understanding demands that there is a dependence of the loss on both GDP per capita and population, an approach that accounts for both separately is preferable to one which assumes a specific relation between the two dependencies. In the accompanying comment, Rybski et al argued that there is no rigorous evidence to reach the conclusion that high-income does not protect against hurricane losses. Here we affirm that our conclusion is drawn correctly and reply to further remarks raised in the comment, highlighting the adequateness of our approach but also the potential for future extension of our research.