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Climate ChangeEnvironment

Climate disasters, floods dominated 2021

Climate disasters in 2021 caused 270 billion damage

(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – In 2021, the cost of climate disasters reached 270 billion dollars, up 33% compared to the previous year. Although it is not an absolute record – it is the 4 years higher value – it is well above the average of the last 10 years, which stops at 215 billion. The result for 2021 is mainly floods. The type of calamity that, the data say, does more damage in absolute and that shows a consistent upward trend.

“Floods affect nearly a third of the world population, more than any other peril. Given the scale of devastation, flood risk deserves the same attention and risk assessment rigour as primary perils such as hurricanes”, said Martin Bertogg of Swiss Re.

The data collected by the Swiss insurance company in the report Natural catastrophes in 2021: the flood gates are open speak for itself. Floods account for 31% of total climate disasters. They have the same global scale of events that we normally perceive as much more dangerous, such as hurricanes and tropical cyclones: they do just 2% less damage.

2021 clearly demonstrates this. The most devastating climate disaster recorded during the year is Hurricane Ida, but the floods in Central Europe in July are the most disastrous event ever reported on the continent. If you look at the last decade, floods are three times more frequent than hurricanes and cause more than 1/3 of all deaths due to climatic disasters.

2022 opened with floods in Australia, which put a strain on many regions of the country. Climate science agrees that global warming will increase the intensity and frequency of climate disasters, probably accelerating once the 1.5 degree threshold is exceeded.

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