Tool – CLIMADA Natural catastrophe damage model

Link to external tool

Use in decision framework

Risk identification
Risk analysis


CLIMADA is a probabilistic natural catastrophe damage model, that also calculates averted damage (benefit) thanks to adaptation measures of any kind (from grey to green infrastructure, behavioural, etc.). It is based on the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) Methodology,

  • climada is based on four elements
    • Assets (i.e. geographical distribution of people, houses, activities, public infrastructure, …)
    • Damage functions (relating impact to economic consequence – or any other pertinent metric, like people affected)
    • Hazards (currently implemented are: tropical cyclones, storm surge, torrential rain, earthquake, volcano and meteorites on a global yet local (1km) resolution, plus winter storm in Europe and flood and mudslides in experimental stage)
    • Adaptation measures (i.e. improved building codes, seawall, sandbags, reefs, mangroves).

Climada process in short1)from:CLIMADA user manual

To cut the whole story short, CLIMADA (inter alia) produces an adaptation cost curve. The following steps are required in order to come up with a climate adaptation cost curve:

  1. Generate a hazard event set
    1.  Generate a hazard event set for todays climate
      1. Obtain historical events
      2. Produce the probabilistic events
      3. Store intensities at centroids
    2. Repeat above steps for future hazard (climate change impact scenarios, e.g. for 2030)
  2. Import a list of assets and corresponding damage functions (the so-called entity)
    1. Import the list of today’s assets in the program
      1. Encode to centroids (to the nearest point where hazard information is available, up to a distance threshold
      2. Read the damage functions and make sure they correspond to assets
    2. Repeat above steps for future assets (e.g. 2030)
  3. Import the list of adaptation measures (also stored into the entity structure)
    1. Read the list of measures
  4. Calculate the damages and benefits of measures
    1. Calculate the damages38 for the list of today’s assets, today’s hazard event set and the list of measures
    2. Repeat the previous step for future assets but still today’s hazard and the list of measures
    3. Finally, repeat the first step (a) again now for future assets, the climate change scenarios and the ist of measures. Note that for this step, you need to create the hazard event set for the climate change scenarios (e.g. 2030)
  5. Display the results — e.g. in the form of an adaptation cost curve.


As CLIMADA provides a region-specific impact assessment, it requires a lot of detailed input, among which:

  • Historical events, quantified and processed to statistical data
  • Detailed list of assets, with damage functions attached
  • Future events, quantified and processed to statistical data
  • Adaptation measures, with quantified risk reduction information (altough the program seems to contain some adaptation measures already)
  • Future assets

User friendliness

The tools is targeted at high-level experts with access to detailed information. The user interface is designed to be user-friendly, but the level of expertise required to get viable results would not allow the average user to


The output of the tools is an adaptation cost curve. The tool seems to rely on rigorous calculations and scientific foundation, but the reliability of the results would to a large extend depend on the availability and reliability of the data required to make the calculations.


Developer and the current status of development are unknown.

Conditions for use

CLIMADA is a free-to use tool. CLIMADA is running in MATLAB®, which is a numerical computing environment, and GNU OCTAVE, the open source alternative.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. from:CLIMADA user manual