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Creators/Authors contains: "Lin, Ning"

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  1. Abstract

    As the global impact of climate change intensifies, there is an urgent need for equitable and efficient climate adaptation policies. Traditional approaches for allocating public resources for climate adaptation that are based on economic benefit-cost analysis often overlook the resulting distributional inequalities. In this study, we apply equity weightings to mitigate the distributional inequalities in two key building and household level adaptation strategies under changing coastal flood hazards: property buyouts and building retrofit in New York City (NYC). Under a mid-range emissions scenario, we find that unweighted benefit cost ratios (BCR) applied to residential buildings are higher for richer and non-disadvantaged census tracts in NYC. The integration of income-based equity weights alters this correlation effect, which has the potential to shift investment in mitigation towards poorer and disadvantaged census tracts. This alteration is sensitive to the value of elasticity of marginal utility, the key parameter used to calculate the equity weight. Higher values of elasticity of marginal utility increase benefits for disadvantaged communities but reduce the overall economic benefits from investments, highlighting the trade-offs in incorporating equity into adaptation planning.

     
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  2. Sediment cores from blue holes have emerged as a promising tool for extending the record of long‐term tropical cyclone (TC) activity. However, interpreting this archive is challenging because storm surge depends on many parameters including TC intensity, track, and size. In this study, we use climatological‐hydrodynamic modeling to interpret paleohurricane sediment records between 1851 and 2016 and assess the storm surge risk for Long Island in The Bahamas. As the historical TC data from 1988 to 2016 is too limited to estimate the surge risk for this area, we use historical event attribution in paleorecords paired with synthetic storm modeling to estimate TC parameters that are often lacking in earlier historical records (i.e., the radius of maximum wind for storms before 1988). We then reconstruct storm surges at the sediment site for a longer time period of 1851–2016 (the extent of hurricane Best Track records). The reconstructed surges are used to verify and bias‐correct the climatological‐hydrodynamic modeling results. The analysis reveals a significant risk for Long Island in The Bahamas, with an estimated 500‐year stormtide of around 1.63 ± 0.26 m, slightly exceeding the largest recorded level at site between 1988 and 2015. Finally, we apply the bias‐corrected climatological‐hydrodynamic modeling to quantify the surge risk under two carbon emission scenarios. Due to sea level rise and TC climatology change, the 500‐year stormtide would become 2.69 ± 0.50 and 3.29 ± 0.82 m for SSP2‐4.5 and SSP5‐8.5, respectively by the end of the 21st century. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 25, 2025
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Preparedness for adverse events is critical to building urban resilience to climate-related risks. While most extant studies investigate preparedness patterns based on survey data, this study explores the potential of big digital footprint data (i.e. population visits to points of interest (POI)) to investigate preparedness patterns in the real case of Hurricane Ida (2021). We further investigate income and racial inequality in preparedness by combining the digital footprint data with demographic and socioeconomic data. A clear pattern of preparedness was seen in Louisiana with aggregated visits to grocery stores, gasoline stations, and construction supply dealers increasing by nearly 9%, 12%, and 10% respectively, representing three types of preparedness: survival, mobility planning, and hazard mitigation. Preparedness for Hurricane Ida was not seen in New York and New Jersey states. Inequality analyses for Louisiana across census block groups (CBGs) demonstrate that CBGs with higher income have more (nearly 8% greater) preparedness in visiting gasoline stations, while CBGs with a larger percentage of the white population have more preparedness in visiting grocery stores (nearly 12% more) in the lowest income groups. The results indicate that income and racial inequality differ across different preparedness in terms of visiting different POIs.

     
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  5. Climate change is expected to intensify the effects of extreme weather events on power systems and increase the frequency of severe power outages. The large-scale integration of environment-dependent renewables during energy decarbonization could induce increased uncertainty in the supply–demand balance and climate vulnerability of power grids. This Perspective discusses the superimposed risks of climate change, extreme weather events and renewable energy integration, which collectively affect power system resilience. Insights drawn from large-scale spatiotemporal data on historical US power outages induced by tropical cyclones illustrate the vital role of grid inertia and system flexibility in maintaining the balance between supply and demand, thereby preventing catastrophic cascading failures. Alarmingly, the future projections under diverse emission pathways signal that climate hazards — especially tropical cyclones and heatwaves — are intensifying and can cause even greater impacts on the power grids. High-penetration renewable power systems under climate change may face escalating challenges, including more severe infrastructure damage, lower grid inertia and flexibility, and longer post-event recovery. Towards a net-zero future, this Perspective then explores approaches for harnessing the inherent potential of distributed renewables for climate resilience through forming microgrids, aligned with holistic technical solutions such as grid-forming inverters, distributed energy storage, cross-sector interoperability, distributed optimization and climate–energy integrated modelling. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 11, 2025
  6. Abstract

    The United States’ National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has accumulated over $20 billion in debt to the US Treasury since 2005, partly due to discounted premiums on homes in flood‐prone areas. To address this issue, FEMA introduced Risk Rating 2.0 in October 2021, which is able to assess and charge more accurate and equitable rates to homeowners. However, rates must be continually updated to account for increasing flood damage caused by sea level rise and more intense hurricanes due to climate change. This study proposes a strategy to adopt updated premium rates that account for climate change effects and address affordability and risk mitigation issues with a means‐tested voucher program. The strategy is tested in a coastal community, Ortley Beach, NJ, by projecting its future flood risk under sea level rise and storm intensification. Compared with using static rates for all the properties in Ortley Beach, the proposed strategy is shown to reduce the NFIP's potential losses to the community from 2020 to 2050 by half (from $4.6 million to $2.3 million), improve the community's flood resistance, and address affordability concerns. Sensitivity analysis of varying incomes, loan interest rates, and conditions for a voucher indicates that the strategy is feasible and effective under a wide range of scenarios. Thus, the proposed strategy can be applied to various communities along the US coastline as an effective way of updating risk‐based premiums while addressing affordability and resilience concerns.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  8. Abstract

    Two tropical cyclones (TCs) that make landfall close together can induce sequential hazards to coastal areas. Here we investigate the change in sequential TC hazards in the historical and future projected climates. We find that the chance of sequential TC hazards has been increasing over the past several decades at many US locations. Under the high (moderate) emission scenario, the chance of hazards from two TCs impacting the same location within 15 days may substantially increase, with the return period decreasing over the century from 10–92 years to ~1–2 (1–3) years along the US East and Gulf coasts, due to sea-level rise and storm climatology change. Climate change can also cause unprecedented compounding of extreme hazards at the regional level. A Katrina-like TC and a Harvey-like TC impacting the United States within 15 days of each other, which is non-existent in the control simulation for over 1,000 years, is projected to have an annual occurrence probability of more than 1% by the end of the century under the high emission scenario.

     
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  9. Abstract Tropical cyclones (TCs) have caused extensive power outages. The impacts of TC-caused blackouts may worsen in the future as TCs and heatwaves intensify. Here we couple TC and heatwave projections and power outage and recovery process analysis to investigate how TC-blackout-heatwave compound hazard risk may vary in a changing climate, with Harris County, Texas as an example. We find that, under the high-emissions scenario RCP8.5, long-duration heatwaves following strong TCs may increase sharply. The expected percentage of Harris residents experiencing at least one longer-than-5-day TC-blackout-heatwave compound hazard in a 20-year period could increase dramatically by a factor of 23 (from 0.8% to 18.2%) over the 21 st century. We also reveal that a moderate enhancement of the power distribution network can significantly mitigate the compound hazard risk. Thus, climate adaptation actions, such as strategically undergrounding distribution network and developing distributed energy sources, are urgently needed to improve coastal power system resilience. 
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