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500 Weather-Related Disasters A Year

Posted by msrb on November 27, 2007

According to a report by British “charity” Oxfam, weather-related disasters, caused by global warming, have quadrupled over the last twenty years reaching a record 500 per year.

“This year we have seen floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and Mexico that have affected more than 250 million people,” Oxfam reports.

“This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people. The number of people affected by disasters has risen by 68 percent, from an average of 174 million a year between 1985 to 1994 to 254 million a year [4% of world population] between 1995 to 2004. Earlier this year the Asian floods alone affected 248 million people.

“Action is needed now to prepare for more disasters otherwise humanitarian assistance will be overwhelmed and recent advances in human development will go into reverse,” the report says.

“There has been a six-fold increase in floods since 1980. The number of floods and wind-storms has risen from 60 in 1980 to 240 last year. Meanwhile the number of geothermal events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, has stayed relatively static.”

Oxfam is urging the UN conference on Climate Change in Bali in December to negotiate a global deal that would assist developing countries against the adverse effects of global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There are no estimates available yet concerning the carbon footprint for the UN conference on Climate Change in Bali.

Original Report

Climate Alarm:
Climate Alarm: Disasters increase as climate change bites (pdf 296.8 kb)

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5 Responses to “500 Weather-Related Disasters A Year”

  1. LisaG said

    Hello
    I dug out the following links which relate to this post:

    Floods affect 500 million people per year, will worsen with warming [mongabay quoting UNEP]
    http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0810-un.html

    Here’s a graph produced by Munich Re representing the number of disasters in the 1950-2000 period posted at
    http://www.un.org/Pubs/chronicle/2002/issue4/0402p62.html

    And an older document by UNDP:
    http://www.undp.org/cpr/documents/climatechange_factfacts_mar08.pdf

    Hope they are useful.

  2. feww said

    Hello Lisa – Thanks for the links.

  3. msrb said

    Climate change, wars could sink aid system: Oxfam
    http://www.reuters.com/article/environmentNews/idUSTRE53K05820090421

    LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s relief agencies will be overwhelmed by a rise in the number of people affected by climate-related disasters by 2015 unless the quantity and quality of aid improves, a report said on Tuesday.

    “There is nothing inevitable about a future in which greater numbers of people die and are made destitute by natural hazards and conflict,” the report by international aid group Oxfam said.

    “In a future of climate change, rising hazard and a proliferation of disasters, the world can still mitigate threats and reduce people’s vulnerability to them.”

    Climate crises are projected to affect more than 375 million people each year by 2015, up from nearly 250 million now, as global warming leads to more extreme weather including droughts and floods and the poor crowd into city slums, the report said.

    The figure does not include people hit by other disasters such as earthquakes and wars.

    To cope with the unprecedented need for assistance, spending on humanitarian aid needs to rise to at least $25 billion a year from around $14 billion in 2006, Oxfam said.

    The report also urged rich nations to give aid more fairly, rather than according to political and security interests.

    “The humanitarian system is a post-code lottery on a global scale,” Oxfam GB Chief Executive Barbara Stocking said in a statement. “The response is often fickle — too little, too late and not good enough. There must be a fundamental reform of the system so that those in need are its first and foremost priority.”

    The agency warned that climate change threatened its work to overcome poverty, and called on rich nations to commit themselves at U.N. talks to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that will keep global warming below a rise of 2 degrees Celsius. It also wants them to provide at least $50 billion a year to help poor countries adapt to unavoidable climate change.

    Jane Cocking, Oxfam’s humanitarian director, told Reuters the aid system also faced a heavy burden from long-running conflicts in places like Sudan’s western region of Darfur.

    “When you look at where international humanitarian assistance goes, places like Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Darfur are dropping so far down the political agenda, it’s appalling,” she said.

    The report notes the inequality in the amounts of aid given to different emergencies — for example, in 2004, $1,241 was spent on each survivor of the Asian tsunami, while those caught up in Chad’s humanitarian crisis received only $23 each.

    Oxfam also criticized the global aid system for being too Western and focused on centralized responses to large, high-profile disasters. It said humanitarian aid must become more appropriate for local needs, and be delivered faster.
    (Copyright Reuters).

  4. Richard said

    The article has not taken in to account the increased population.

    If the population in the town that lives by the volcano doubles over 10 years, of course double the people are going to be affected?

    Due to over population, people are starting to live in areas where people didnt use to live before. ie: Where wind storms are a regular occurrence.

    The bigger the population the more people will be affected. It not necessarily has to do with increased disasters.

    [A perfectly valid observation! However, both the frequency and intensity of human-induced/enhanced natural disasters are also rising. For example, 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record, AND it was also the wettest year. See http://feww.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/2010-tied-for-warmest-year-on-record-noaa/ Moderator]

  5. Lew said

    [Exactly, how do "the world’s banking cartel and their US military puppets" their families and friends stay immune from the impact of this super weapon? Moderator]

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