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Climate Change is Making the World More Dangerous - 6th October


The first decade of the 21st century saw 3,496 natural disasters from floods, storms, droughts and heat waves. This figure is nearly five times as many disasters as the 743 catastrophes reported during the 1970s – and all of these weather events are influenced by climate change.

The bottom line is that natural disasters are occurring nearly five times as often as they were in the 1970s, but some disasters – such as floods and storms – pose a bigger threat than others.

A number of ways that climate change is making the world more dangerous:

  • We are going to need bigger flood defences: Flooding and mega-storms were by far the leading cause of disaster from 2000-2010. About 80% of the 3,496 disasters of the last decade were due to flooding and storms. Seas are rising because of climate change. So are extreme rain storms;
  • Number of reported disasters by decade by hazard type

Key: Dark blue = floods. Light blue = mass movement wet. Green = storms. Yellow = drought. Magenta = extreme temperature. Orange = Wildfires 

  • Heat waves are the new killer: in the 1970’s heat waves didn’t even register as a threat, but now they are one of the leading causes of deaths in natural disasters. In 2010, in Russia alone, more than 55,000 people died as a result of a heat wave;
  • Number of reported deaths by decade by hazard type

Key: Dark blue = floods. Light blue = mass movement wet. Green = storms. Yellow = drought. Magenta = extreme temperature. Orange = Wildfires

  • Natural Disasters are getting more costly: Disasters were about 5.5 times more expensive by 2010 than they were in the 1970s, and most of this is because of the rising losses due to floods;
  • Nearly all of the 8,835 disasters – about 89% - were due to flooding and storms; and
  • Storms are by far the bigger threat to life: accounting for about 1.45m of the 1.94m global disaster deaths. Drought was the next big killer, mainly because of the horrific toll during the 1980s famine in Africa; and

For more information and to go to the full article, click HERE.


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