U.N. Reports ‘Staggering Rise in Climate-Related Disasters’
“We are turning our only home into an uninhabitable hell for millions of people,” assert the authors of “Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019,” a new report issued on behalf of the United Nations (U.N.) Office of Disaster Risk Reduction. “This report focuses primarily on the staggering rise in climate-related disasters over the last twenty years,” the authors add. The report is based on data collected in the Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT) curated by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters located at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.
The U.N. and Louvain researchers tally the toll of death and destruction from all natural disasters over the past 20 years. Between 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major recorded natural disaster events killing 1.23 million people with economic losses amounting to approximately $2.97 trillion. In contrast, between 1980 and 1999 there were only 4,212 natural disasters that killed 1.19 million people and resulted in $1.63 trillion in losses.
The report observes that floods and storms were by far the most prevalent events. “The last 20 years has seen the number of major floods more than double, from 1,389 to 3,254, while the incidence of storms grew from 1,457 to 2,034,” notes the accompanying press release. “This is clear evidence that in a world where the global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 ̊C above the pre-industrial period, the impacts are being felt in the increased frequency of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts, flooding, winter storms, hurricanes, and wildfi
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