By Nina Chestney; Editing by Louise Heavens
18 November 2013
WARSAW (Reuters) – Global economic losses caused by extreme weather events have risen to nearly $200 billion a year over the last decade and look set to increase further as climate change worsens, a report by the World Bank showed on Monday.
A United Nations' panel of scientists has warned that floods, droughts, and storms are likely to become more severe over the next century as greenhouse gas emissions warm the world's climate.
"Economic losses are rising - from $50 billion each year in the 1980s to just under $200 billion each year in the last decade and about three quarters of those losses are a result of extreme weather," said Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development.
"While you cannot connect any single weather event to climate change, scientists have warned that extreme weather events will increase in intensity if climate change is left unchecked."
Reinsurance company Munich Re has estimated total reported losses from disasters were $3.8 trillion from 1980 to 2012, attributing 74 percent of those to extreme weather.
More than 3,900 people have been killed in Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded.
The typhoon threw a spotlight on the impact of climate change and coincided with the start of November 11-22 talks in Warsaw, Poland, where governments are trying to draw up a plans to slow its effects. […]
Although weather-related disasters can affect all countries, the most severe economic and human losses are expected in rapidly growing countries, such as those in Asia, which are building their economies in areas vulnerable to floods, droughts and extreme temperatures, the World Bank said.
The average impact of disasters on such countries equalled 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2001 to 2006 - ten times higher than the average for high-income countries, the World Bank said.
But climate impacts will especially cripple poorer countries. Hurricane Tomas in 2010, for example, devastated St Lucia and caused losses of 43 percent of GDP. [more]
Need a happy?
- 60 Minutes: The Age of Mega-Fires
- Altered Oceans
- Apocadocs: Humoring the Horror of Environmental Collapse
- Calculated Risk
- Carbon Based Climate Change Adaptation
- Census of Marine life
- Climate Change: The Next Generation
- Club Orlov: Dmitry Orlov and the Collapsnik Party
- Converging Emergencies, 2010-2020
- Crisis Forums
- Dead Trees ... Dying Forests
- Deep Into Artlife West
- Ea O Ka Aina: For a self-sustaining Kauai
- Economic Undertow
- Fire Earth
- Grist: A Beacon in the Smog
- Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
- IUCN Red List of Endangered Species
- Information Is Beautiful
- International Programme on the State of the Oceans
- Jeremy Jackson: Brave New Ocean
- Jim Galasyn: State of the Oceans 2011 pdf
- Lend Me a Looking Glass
- Love Salem
- Marine Climate Change
- Mess Time
- Mongabay.com: Tropical Rainforest Conservation
- NASA Earth Observatory: Image of the Day
- NASA Visible Earth
- National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center
- Nature Bats Last
- Only In It For The Gold
- Ornery Bastard
- Other Voices, Other Choices
- Planet3.0 | Beyond Sustainability
- RealClimate: Climate Science from Climate Scientists
- Shades of Green
- Wit's End
- World Catastrophe Map
- World Disaster Report