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Gro Goes Live With Global Hurricane Risk Assessment Tools

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Tropical cyclones, also known as hurricanes and typhoons, routinely rank among the most deadly - and costly - weather disasters. But arriving at a baseline indicator of risk is notoriously difficult, especially in places where assets are not typically insured and in other underserved regions like India and Madagascar. 

With strategic assets and investments across the globe, governments, financial institutions, and corporates increasingly need this physical climate risk data to sharpen climate resilience strategies, protect vulnerable populations, and limit hurricane risk-related losses. To that end, we have created and launched the Gro Climate Indicator (GCI) for Tropical Cyclone Risk, providing a highly accurate, globally consistent view of hurricane risk that supports decisions spanning large geographies. 

This indicator can be used alongside Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator to get visibility into any area or asset’s hurricane risk profile worldwide. With this information, users can see how specific populations, infrastructure, corporate assets, or crops might be affected by anything from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane. 

With Gro's Climate Indicator (GCI) for Tropical Cyclone Risk,

  • Governments can reduce the effect of major disasters by billions of dollars, improve the effectiveness of policy to de-risk billion-dollar industries, and provide crucial funding for emergency routes & centers. (In the US, where state and local governments are starting to apply for grants linked to the $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that passed last November, this indicator's output can inform how to direct infrastructure spending, for example.)   
  • Asset Managers can reduce portfolio volatility by several percentage points, save hundreds of thousands of dollars by diversifying risk and offloading risky assets, and save hundreds of hours of analyst & legal time with instant access to the necessary datasets.
  • Food and Beverage companies can avoid risks, which could drive seasonal price volatility of 5% or greater, for their entire portfolio by analyzing every sourcing region globally.
  • Crop Insurance companies can save hundreds of thousands of dollars of potential losses, reduce crop insurance payment funding decisions from months or weeks to days, and reduce management and overhead costs by thousands of dollars.
  • Transportation companies can save hundreds of thousands of dollars on insurance and damages repair, reduce delays from weeks to days, and avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in climate-resilience investment costs and site changes.

Getting the Score

The GCI - Tropical Cyclone Risk produces a static risk score based on metrics of modeled risk that use historical hurricane data for each district (county) worldwide. 

It also offers users a broader distribution of possible outcomes and risk exposures, thereby adding relevant data that can be factored into institutions’ location-based hurricane risk assessments. 

The key risk metrics of modeled risk based on historical hurricane data that are available to all Gro API users through the GCI - Tropical Cyclone Risk include: 

  • Impact Frequency: Average number of storms per year over the selected time period and for the selected group of storm classifications. 
  • Return Time: Average number of years between storms over the selected time period and for the selected group of storm classifications. 
  • Impact Probability: Chance of at least one storm per year over the selected time period and for the selected group of storm classifications.

For institutions, having a global, district-level view into hurricane risk aids acute physical climate risk analysis because it helps make combining hazard and location-specific exposure data possible using Gro’s Tropical Cyclone Wind Index, our index that measures the destructive energy of hurricane winds passing near each district in the world based on a common metric called Accumulated Cyclone Energy.

Tropical cyclones will be an important vehicle by which increases in extreme precipitation,  worsening coastal flooding from rising sea levels, and other impacts of climate change are felt. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a report last August expressed “high confidence” that future tropical storms will be stronger under warmer temperatures. In this report, however, there was less agreement on what will happen to the overall number of tropical storms as temperatures rise. The IPCC climate experts only said that the number of storms is “likely” to either decrease or stay the same. 

To our in-house climate scientists, this suggests that present science doesn’t support making projections of risk metrics based on the frequency of tropical storm impacts. Therefore, we currently recommend using the GCI - Tropical Cyclone Risk as the best estimate of future risk under any climate scenario. However, we are examining ways to make future climate projections based on the aspects of tropical cyclone risk where there is greater confidence in the changes that regions face.

Thirty years ago, when Hurricane Andrew, one of only four Category 5 hurricanes to hit the US mainland, struck Miami-Dade County, Florida, a slight shift in weather conditions as the hurricane was approaching could have moved the storm’s track north, putting the city of Miami and Broward County more directly in the storm’s path. Even without this shift, Hurricane Andrew ranks as the 6th most expensive natural disaster in US history. 

Talk to our team to see how the GCI - Tropical Cyclone Risk can be tailored to fit your organization's needs. 

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