Climate change: Extreme weather reasons massive losses in 2020

Climate Change
Extreme weather reasons massive losses in 2020

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The world continued to compensate for a very high price for extreme weather in 2020, according to an explanation from the charity Christian Aid.

In a background of climate change, its study identifies 10 events that observed thousands of lives lost and major insurance costs.

Six of the events happened in Asia, with floods in China and India triggering damage of more than $40bn.

In the US, highest hurricanes and wildfires instigated some $60bn in losses.

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Although the world has been stressed to get to clutches with the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people have also had to deal with the effects of life-threatening weather events.

Christian Aid’s list of ten storms, fires and floods all cost at least $1.5bn – with nine of the 10 estimating at least $5bn.

An unusually rainy monsoon season was related to some of the most harmful storms in Asia, where some of the major losses were. Over dated months, heavy flooding in India got more than 2,000 deaths with millions of people expatriated from their homes.

The worth of the insured losses is appraised at $10bn.

China suffered even greater financial damage from flooding, sequentially to around $32bn between June and October this year. The loss of life from these events was much lesser than in India.

While these were slow-moving disasters, some events did massive damage in a quick period.

Cyclone Amphan struck the Bay of Bengal in May and triggered losses valued at $13bn in just a few days.

“We saw highest temperatures in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, spanning between 30°C-33°C,” said Dr Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune.

“These high temperatures had the features of marine heatwaves that might have led to the rapid escalation of the pre-monsoon cyclones Amphan and Nisarga,” he said in a comment on the Christian Aid study.

“Amphan was one of the sturdiest cyclones ever logged in the Bay of Bengal during the pre-monsoon season.”

Africa was also on the getting end of life-threatening events, with massive locust swarms ruining crops and vegetation to the tune of $8.5bn.

The UN has linked these swarms to climate change, with remarkably heavy rains in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa in topical years causing to the locust outbreaks.

Europe also observed noteworthy impacts when Storm Ciara swept through Ireland, the UK and some other countries in February.

It caused in 14 lives being lost and damages of $2.7bn.

Christian Aid address that these figures for financial costs are likely an undervalues as they are grounded only on insured losses.

Richer countries have more treasured properties, and on the whole, suffer greater monetary forfeits from extreme events.

But financial losses don’t carry the full impact of these storms and fires.

While South Sudan’s floods weren’t among the highest in dollar terms, they have had a massive impact, killing 138 people and destroying this year’s crops.

Researchers say that the impact of climate change on extreme events is vigorous and likely to continue rising.

“Just like 2019 before it, 2020 has been full of disastrous extremes,” said Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

“We have observed all this with a 1°C of global average temperature rise, prioritizing the complex relationship between average conditions and extremes.”

“Ultimately, the effects of climate change will be stroked via the extremes, and not averaged changes.”

“Unfortunately, we can suppose more years to look like 2020 – and inferior – as world temperatures creep higher.”

While 2021 is likely to take a similar story of losses from life-threatening events, there is some sense of confidence that political leaders may be on the edge of captivating steps that might help the world tackle the worst excesses of rising temperatures.

“It is vital that 2021 leaders in a new era of action to turn this climate change surge,” said report author, Dr Kat Kramer, from Christian Aid.

“With President-elect Biden in the White House, social movements across the world calling for vital action, post-COVID-19 green regaining investment and a crucial UN climate summit hosted by the UK, there is a great chance for countries to put us on a route to a safe future.”

About Zulker Naeen

Climate Journalist

Zulker Naeen is a South Asia Fellow at Climate Tracker. With three years of working experience, he has developed courses with the support of other Climate Tracker staff.

As a young climate advocate, his fellowship aims to share knowledge of climate change. Climate Tracker is a global media network closely works on Climate Change.

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Climate change: Extreme weather reasons massive losses in 2020
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