According to a report published by the United Nations weather causes 90% of natural disasters. In the last twenty years natural disasters were the reason why over 600,000 people died and world economic losses were estimated to trillions of dollars.
The report was released a week before a meeting between state officials all over the world will take place in Paris. 120 national leaders are to participate at the meeting on Monday. They will be discussing global warming and will try to find solutions for the problem.
About weather-related natural disasters
In the last two decades most natural disasters happened in the United States. However, although experiencing fewer disasters, China and India were more affected with billions of people suffering from floods. Besides thousands of deaths, 4.1 billion were wounded in weather disasters. Moreover, economic costs reached an incredible amount of $1.9 trillion in twenty years.
The U.N. office kept a record of weather-related disasters and estimated that about 335 disasters happen every year. They counted only events in which at least 10 people were killed and another 1,000 were affected.
The Office for Disaster Reduction was careful to release the findings of the report so close to the summit meeting in Paris. They did so in order to raise awareness about what is happening in the world because of the weather. What they are hoping for is that the world leaders will make a new climate change agreement that will lead to fewer natural disasters.
Two of the central issues of extreme weather are the melting glaciers and of course the temperature of the oceans which is constantly rising. The world leaders will be discussing and hopefully reaching an agreement concerning the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Although not all natural disasters are explained by climate change, scientists have found evidence that global warming causes more frequent heat waves, more rainstorms, flooding and droughts.
Let’s see some numbers
According to statistics, half of the weather disasters where actually floods and they affected about 2.3 billion people, with a majority from Asia. Storms have been the most dangerous causing around 242,000 deaths. Over half of these deaths were caused in Myanmar in 2008 by Cyclone Nargis.
On the other hand drafts affected mostly Africa leading to disease, hunger and underdevelopment due to agricultural problems. More than 1 billion people were affected by droughts in the past decades. Heat waves have particularly affected Europe with 148,000 of deaths recorded and 108,000 people in America were affected by wildfires.
All in all, let’s hope that whatever the world leaders decide at the summit on climate change happening next week in Paris, global warming will slow down and weather related disasters will become less likely to happen.
Image source: www.bing.com