Articles | Volume 23, issue 1
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-23-179-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-23-179-2023
Research article
 | 
17 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 17 Jan 2023

Uncovering the veil of night light changes in times of catastrophe

Vincent Schippers and Wouter Botzen

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Bennett, M. M. and Smith, L. C.: Advances in using multitemporal night-time lights satellite imagery to detect, estimate, and monitor socioeconomic dynamics, Remote Sens. Environ., 192, 176–197, 2017. a, b
Berlemann, M. and Wenzel, D.: Hurricanes, economic growth and transmission channels: Empirical evidence for countries on differing levels of development, World Dev., 105, 231–247, 2018. a
Bertinelli, L. and Strobl, E.: Quantifying the local economic growth impact of hurricane strikes: An analysis from outer space for the Caribbean, J. Appl. Meteorol Clim., 52, 1688–1697, 2013. a, b, c, d, e
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Short summary
Researchers studying economic impacts of natural disasters increasingly use night light as a proxy for local economic activity, when socioeconomic data are unavailable. But often it is unclear what changes in light intensity represent in the context of disasters. We study this in detail for Hurricane Katrina and find a strong correlation with building damage and changes in population and employment. We conclude that night light data are useful to study local impacts of natural disasters.
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