Monday, December 28, 2020

Natural Disasters - Worse to Come


Socialism does not claim it will end all natural disasters but it does say such a cooperative sciety would minimise and mitigate the effects of natures calamities.

Capitalism tends to classify such events in money terms, socialists look at them from the viewpoint of the human tragedies. Millions of people have had to cope with the impacts of extreme weather events. Researchers say that the influence of climate change on extreme events is strong and likely to continue growing

In 2020 floods in China and India causing damages of more than $40bn.

 Over a period of months, heavy flooding in India saw more than 2,000 deaths with millions of people displaced from their homes. The value of the insured losses is estimated at $10bn.

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.

In the US, record hurricanes and wildfires, caused some $60bn in losses.

Africa was also on the receiving end of extreme events, with massive locust swarms ruining crops and vegetation to the tune of $8.5bn. The UN has linked these swarms to climate change, with unusually heavy rains in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa in recent years contributing to the locust outbreaks.

South Sudan's floods weren't among the costliest in dollar terms, they have had a huge impact, killing 138 people and wiping out this year's crops.

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.

Cyclone Amphan struck the Bay of Bengal in May and caused losses estimated at $13bn in just a few days.

"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 

Richer countries have more valuable properties, and on the whole suffer greater financial penalties from extreme events.

Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia, explained, "We have seen all this with a 1C of global average temperature rise, highlighting the sensitive relationship between average conditions and extremes." She went on to say, "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."

2021 is likely to bring a similar story of losses from extreme events.

Climate change: Extreme weather causes huge losses in 2020 - BBC News

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