Climate ChangeEnvironment

Floods and storms, Asia is the continent most affected by climate disasters

Climate disasters in Asia caused 2000 deaths and affected 9 million people in 2023

Four dead, ten missing, 110 thousand displaced, 25 thousand welcomed in emergency shelters. It’s the provisional toll of the flood that is hitting the province of Guandong in southern China these days. To trigger it, the extreme rains have affected the region and have inflated the Pearl River and its tributaries. An event that confirms the message launched by the World Meteorological Organization: Asia is the continent most affected by climate disasters, especially those related to water.

2000 deaths from climate disasters

In 2023, according to the report of the WMO, in Asia, 79 disasters were associated with hydro-meteorological risk. Of these, over 80% were linked to floods and storms, caused more than 2,000 victims and directly affected 9 million people. But there is not only this risk behind the Asian record for climate disasters. The WMO reports “increasing health risksrelated to extreme heat. But statistics do not sufficiently illuminate the phenomenon because “hot-related mortality is often not reported”.

Behind the impact of these climate disasters is the acceleration of all major climate change indicators in the region, which “will have important repercussions for the region’s societies, economies and ecosystems”.

Starting with air temperatures, which in 2023 were 0.91 ºC above the average of the last 30 years. And those of the oceans, which have recorded anomalies everywhere with a peak, especially in the Pacific Northwest. Warmer waters promote the transmission of more water vapor into the atmosphere and thus contribute to increasing the volume of precipitation. Even the Asian portion of the Arctic Ocean has been affected by a sea heat wave.

Then there is the role of melting glaciers. They have lost “significant” mass in the last 40 years, and “at an increasing rate“. In 2023, record high temperatures and drier conditions in the eastern Himalayas and Tien Shan accelerated fusion.

Data, those of the OMM report, that “make you think“. “Many countries in the region experienced the hottest year ever recorded in 2023, along with several extreme conditions, from droughts and heat waves to floods and storms,” comments the organization’s secretary general, Celeste Saulo. “Climate change has exacerbated the frequency and severity of such events, deeply affecting societies, economies and, above all, human lives and the environment in which we live”.

Related Articles

Back to top button