Role of climate risks and socio-economic factors in influencing the impact of climatic extremes: a normalisation study in the context of Odisha, India

Bahinipati, Chandra; Venkatachalam, Lingappan
January 2016
Regional Environmental Change;Jan2016, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p177
Academic Journal
Economic costs imposed by climatic extremes have been increasing over the years and are expected to follow a similar trend in the coming years as well. Such costs are incurred due to two factors: (1) natural climate variability and anthropogenic climate change and (2) exposure and vulnerability of socio-economic factors. The impact of these factors as identified separately through a 'normalisation technique' is analysed in the existing normalisation studies conducted mostly in developed country contexts; these have produced mixed results. However, one needs to enquire about the influence of the above two factors in a developing country context where the anticipated impacts of climate extremes are significant. This study, therefore, makes an attempt to adjust impact data, in terms of the reported population affected and economic damages of three extreme events, namely cyclones, floods and droughts, together for societal changes between 1972 and 2009 in Odisha in eastern India. Further, the second component is analysed in two ways: (1) assuming that exposed socio-economic factors are equally vulnerable similar to the other normalisation studies, i.e. no adaptation and (2) incorporating adaptation in the existing normalisation methods-which has attracted less attention so far in the literature. The results suggest that: (a) both the natural climate variability and the socio-economic factors influence the increasing damages in the recent decades, and (b) when adaptation is introduced in the normalisation model, economic losses have reduced significantly compared to the estimates using the existing normalisation models.


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