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Climate change: Extreme weather causes huge losses in 2020

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Summary | 8 Annotations
Against a backdrop of climate change, its study lists 10 events that saw thousands of lives lost and major insurance costs.
2020/12/30 14:08
While the world has been struggling to get to grips with the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people have also had to cope with the impacts of extreme weather events. Christian Aid's list of ten storms, floods and fires all cost at least $1.5bn - with nine of the 10 costing at least $5bn.
2020/12/30 14:08
China suffered even greater financial damage from flooding, running to around $32bn between June and October this year. The loss of life from these events was much smaller than in India.
2020/12/30 14:08
"We saw record temperatures in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal, straddling between 30C-33C," said Dr Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune."These high temperatures had the characteristics of marine heat waves that might have led to the rapid intensification of the pre-monsoon cyclones Amphan and Nisarga," he said in a comment on the Christian Aid study. "Amphan was one of the strongest cyclones ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal during the pre-monsoon season."
2020/12/30 14:08
Europe also saw significant impacts when Storm Ciara swept through Ireland, the UK and several other countries in February. It resulted in 14 lives being lost and damages of $2.7bn.
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Researchers say that the influence of climate change on extreme events is strong and likely to continue growing.
2020/12/30 14:08
"Just like 2019 before it, 2020 has been full of disastrous extremes," said Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia."We have seen all this with a 1C of global average temperature rise, highlighting the sensitive relationship between average conditions and extremes."
2020/12/30 14:08
"Ultimately, the impacts of climate change will be felt via the extremes, and not averaged changes." "Unfortunately, we can expect more years to look like 2020 - and worse - as global temperatures creep higher."While 2021 is likely to bring a similar story of losses from extreme events, there is some sense of optimism that political leaders may be on the brink of taking steps that might help the world avoid the worst excesses of rising temperatures. "It is vital that 2021 ushers in a new era of activity to turn this climate change tide," said report author, Dr Kat Kramer, from Christian Aid."With President-elect Biden in the White House, social movements across the world calling for urgent action, post-Covid green recovery investment and a crucial UN climate summit hosted by the UK, there is a major opportunity for countries to put us on a path to a safe future."
2020/12/30 14:08