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Retrospective and Prospective Evaluations of Drought and Flood

Retrospective and Prospective Evaluations of Drought and Flood
Date Issued
Elsevier BV
Climate extremes will be intensified and become more frequent. One of the regions where this is the case is the U.S. Gulf coast region. This region is susceptible to the impacts of climate extremes. This region has recently experienced large amounts of economic damages caused by high-impact hurricanes and floods. Meanwhile, drought can also pose serious risks once it occurs. By using a 2019 U.S. Gulf Coast survey combined with Standard Precipitation Index, we closely examined retrospective and prospective evaluations of drought and flood among coastal residents. Drawing upon literature on human-environment system, we were interested in how the objective conditions of past drought and flood influenced individual's perceptions of these hazards and how their retrospective evaluations were correlated with their prospective evaluations of future trends of these hazards. Coastal residents' retrospective evaluations of past drought and flood were found to be influenced by historic objective conditions. Higher drought frequencies were found to increase the probability of perceiving increasing trend of drought number in the past. Higher flood frequencies were found to decrease the probability of perceiving increasing trend of flood number in the past. Higher intensities of drought and flood were found to increase the probabilities of perceiving increasing trends of drought duration and flood amount in the past. Coastal residents' prospective evaluations of future drought and flood were found to be influenced by retrospective evaluations of these hazards, suggesting the temporal continuity in human judgment. Moreover, those who relied on a longer time span in reference to the future were found to be more likely to perceive increasing trends of drought and flood. We ended this paper by proposing a theoretical framework to guide future studies and discussing policy implications.
Drought; Hazards; Probability; Public policy; Human-environment systems; Individual' s perception; Policy implications; Prospective evaluation; Retrospective evaluations; Standard precipitation indices; Temporal continuity; Theoretical framework; Floods; climate effect; drought; economic impact; extreme event; flood; hazard assessment; hurricane; perception; precipitation assessment; regional climate; risk factor; adult; article; awareness; climate; conceptual framework; decision making; drawing; drought; female; flooding; human; human experiment; hurricane; male; perception; precipitation; probability; resident; risk assessment; seashore; Gulf Coast [United States]; United States
Article Type
Science of the Total Environment, vol. 748, 2020-12
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