Climate Change driven-disasters like floods, forest fires and heatwaves had killed more than 2 million people across the world while the frequency of these disasters has increased fivefold over the past 50 years, said a United Nations agency, World Meteorological Organization, on Wednesday, reported Reuters.
The agency also added that the world has suffered a loss of $3.64 trillion in these disasters, which are a direct outcome of climate change effects and global warming.
The WMO released the data in its 'Atlas' that the agency says is "the most comprehensive review of mortality and economic losses from weather, water and climate extremes ever produced."
The Atlas took into consideration 11,000 disasters occurring between 1979-2019, including major catastrophes such as Ethiopia’s 1983 drought, which was the single most fatal event with 300,000 deaths, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that was the most costly, with losses of $163.61 billion.
The WMO report also reflects an upward trend with the number of disasters increasing nearly fivefold from the period 1970s to the most recent decade. It is a clear indication that the frequency of climate change-related disasters is rising due to global warming.
The UN agency also credited improved disaster reporting and coverage for increased numbers.
Losses or costs incurred on rebuilding from the events also surged from $175.4 billion in the 1970s to $1.38 trillion in the 2010s when storms such as Harvey, Maria and Irma hit the United States.
However, while these disasters have become more frequent and costly, the annual death toll has fallen from more than 50,000 in the 1970s to around 18,000 in the 2010s. It indicates that better planning and disaster management played a key role and gave positive results.
The report further suggests that more than 91% of the 2 million deaths occurred due to climate change disasters happened in developing countries, noting that only half of the WMO’s 193 members have multi-hazard early warning systems.
This report, as the UN agency believes, would help nations to formulate better disaster management plans and policies.