Potential Impact of Climate Change on Hurricane Flooding Inundation, Population Affected and Property Damages in Corpus Christi1 Academic Article uri icon


  • The effect of climate change on storm-surge flooding and the implications for population and structural damages on the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, was investigated. The study considered the influence of sea level rise and hurricane intensification, both influenced by climate change. Combinations of future carbon dioxide equivalent emission rates and carbon dioxide doubling sensitivities, based on findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, were considered to define future climate scenarios. A suite of physically based numerical models for hurricane winds and the resulting waves, surge, and morphological change at the coast were used to determine flooded areas, population affected, and property damages for Hurricanes Bret, Beulah, and a version of Carla shifted south from its original track, under present and predicted future climate conditions. A comparison of the economic damages for current climate conditions and for the 2080s climate scenario shows that, for Carla (shifted), there will be an increase in the range of $270-1,100 million; for Beulah, of $100-390 million; and, for Bret, of $30-280 million. A similar analysis was also conducted for 2030s predicted climate scenarios. Overall, the comparison of the results for the different climate conditions indicates what the destructive consequences of climate change could be, even within the somewhat short time frame of 80 years considered here. 2010 American Water Resources Association.

published proceedings

  • JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association

altmetric score

  • 3.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Frey, A. E., Olivera, F., Irish, J. L., Dunkin, L. M., Kaihatu, J. M., Ferreira, C. M., & Edge, B. L.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Frey, Ashley E||Olivera, Francisco||Irish, Jennifer L||Dunkin, Lauren M||Kaihatu, James M||Ferreira, Celso M||Edge, Billy L

publication date

  • September 2010