Could the UK Economy Be Impacted by an Increase in Tornado Occurrence? A Consequence of Climate Change in the 21st Century

By Komali Kantamaneni, Mike Phillips, Rhian Jenkins, Judith Oakley and Kelechi Obinna Ibeabuchi.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Violent Tornadoes are uncommon in the United Kingdom when compared with the US tornado alleys where significant storms occur frequently. However, the UK does suffer moderate to strong tornadoes occasionally as evidenced, at Birmingham (2005), London (2006) and Essex (2013) all of which caused damage that cost circa £68 m and a number of fatalities. These events inevitability lead to increased interest in UK tornado research in the 21st century. Consequently, this qualitative study primarily analyses the UK tornado damage costs in recent periods by incorporating an innovative methodology: the, 3PA (Three Path Analysis). Chronological records of destruction costs from tornadoes in the United Kingdom are taken and adjusted to current inflation and market rates. These amendments offer a more reliable comparative process, evaluating losses overtime in the framework of significant social and economic change. Between 1050 and 2013, the most exorbitant and violent tornado (T8) occurred on 23rd October 1091 in London. However, the costliest tornado on record occurred on 28th July 2005 in Birmingham. This tornado (T5) had an adjusted £55 million damage cost (adjusted to 2013 inflation rates). Rapid climate change scenarios suggest that weather patterns will favour tornado generation and should, strong to violent tornadoes travel through some of the world’s trading centres i.e. London or Birmingham, damage costs would likely amount to more than £1billion, negatively affecting national GDP during the 21st century. Therefore, this research provides an important contribution to the literature that is extremely sparse with regard to the economic impact of UK tornado scenarios.

Keywords: Tornadoes, UK Economy, Destruction Costs

International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 7, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.29-39. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.261MB).

Dr. Komali Kantamaneni

Research Student, Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering , School of Built and Natural Environment, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Glamorgan, UK

Prof. Mike Phillips

Professor and Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation, Enterprise, and Commercialisation, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Glamorgan, UK

Professor Phillips enjoys an international research profile which has resulted in his participation in interdisciplinary research projects, advisory boards, government consultancies, and international and national policy making. He has developed a Coastal and Marine Research Group which is growing in reputation and influence. His many research projects demonstrate his engagement with innovation, commercialisation and enterprise. Many of these are interdisciplinary and linked to University priority agendas, i.e. heritage and sustainability, and include high profile partners from other HEIs. External partners, from NGOs, industry and various institutions from around the world demonstrate his reach, impact and ability to secure major funding. He is a member of Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), Royal Geographical Society (RGS), Coastal Education and Research Foundation (CERF), Coastal Zone Canada Association (CZCA) and the European Union of Coastal Conservation (EUCC).

Dr. Rhian Jenkins

Programme Director, Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering , School of Built and Natural Enviornment, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Glamorgan, UK

Judith Oakley

Research Associate, Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering , School of Built and Natural Enviornment, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Glamorgan, UK

Kelechi Obinna Ibeabuchi

Research Student, Faculty of Applied Design and Engineering , School of Built and Natural Enviornment, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea, Glamorgan, UK


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