Global Weather Report

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    Global Weather Report

    Around the world, natural disasters have cost hundreds of billions of dollars. In 2022 alone, the total cost to the world was £178 billion.

    Climate change may be responsible for the increase in global natural disasters. Higher global temperatures increase the possibility of more droughts. Higher temperatures also lead to more water vapour being evaporated into the atmosphere, contributing to the intensity of storms.

    Warmer ocean surface temperatures can also increase wind speeds, increasing the risk of tropical storms. Rising sea levels expose more – and higher – locations to the erosive forces of waves and currents, increasing their risk of flooding.

    Climate change is likely exacerbated by high energy consumption around the world. Businesses everywhere should take a more proactive approach to their energy consumption and compare their business energy suppliers to ensure they get the most efficient energy supply and the best business electricity rates.

    Global damage costs due to natural disasters were 43% higher in 2022 than in 2012

    Data suggests that the costs of natural disasters are set to worsen. The figure of £178 billion for 2022 is a staggering 43% larger than that recorded ten years ago. In 2012, the total cost of natural disasters to the world was £125 billion.

    Flooding was much more of a problem in 2022 than in 2012. In 2012, flooding cost the world nearly £21 billion in damages, whereas, In 2022, flooding cost over £35 billion – 74% more than ten years ago.

    Earthquakes showed the most significant decrease in costs, falling from £15 billion in 2012 to £10 billion in 2022, a 33% drop.

    Fortunately, damages from extreme temperatures were not present in 2022. In 2012, extreme temperatures accounted for £0.09 billion in damages.

    Global damage costs by natural disater type
    Global damage costs by natural disater type table

    The global damage costs of natural disasters in 2023 so far equate to over £74 million

    So far, in 2023, there has been a total of £75 billion in damages from natural disasters. As we approach the end of the year, this sum is considerably down on the 2022 total.

    Earthquakes account for the majority of damages so far this year, totalling £35 billion. Extreme weather events make up the following £24 billion, and floods have cost another £10 billion. We’ve seen extreme heatwaves across Europe this summer, and with this in mind, Extreme temperature damages have cost £0.43 billion this year.

    Global damage costs by natural disater type in 2023
    Global damage costs by natural disater type in 2023 table

    Tonga was the country most affected by natural disasters in 2022

    To see where people are the most affected by natural disasters, the countries with the highest population affected by such disasters have been revealed.

    Countries most affected by natural disasters in 2022

    1. Tonga – 79% of population affected in 2022

    The majority of Tonga’s population was affected by natural disasters in 2022. Over 84,000 people in Tonga were affected, making up 79% of the country’s population. This is likely due to the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in January 2022. This eruption was the largest volcanic eruption of the 21st century. The eruption triggered tsunami waves of up to 15m, which struck the west coast of Tonga’s islands Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai.

    2. Belize – 42% of population affected in 2022

    Over 172,000 people in Belize were affected by natural disasters last year, which is 42% of the population. In November 2022, a hurricane struck Belize. Hurricane Lisa was a category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. The storm made landfall in Belize, causing extensive damage to the Belize district and Cayo District.

    2. Central African Republic – 42% of population affected in 2022

    In 2022, 2.3 million people in the Central African Republic were affected by natural disasters. This is 42% of the population. Flooding struck areas of the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, in July 2022. Dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Flooding occurred again in late September when high levels of the Oubangui River resulted in flooding and damages in several city districts.

    Countries most affected by natural disasters in 2022 table

    The Philippines is the country most at-risk of natural disasters, according to the World Risk Index

    The most recent World Risk Index has revealed the countries most at risk of natural disasters. Extreme natural events cannot be prevented directly. However, governments can reduce risk by strengthening education and health, fighting poverty, and taking preparedness measures.

    Countries that install and use early warning systems, build earthquake-proof buildings, and invest in climate and environmental protection are better prepared against extreme natural events. The World Risk Index indicates the disaster risk from extreme natural events for 193 countries. It shows a country’s exposure and vulnerability to natural disasters.

    Countries most at risk of natural disasters

    In 2022, the Philippines, India, and Indonesia were revealed as the most at-risk countries. Seven Asian countries comprise the top ten countries with the highest risks. These include the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, China, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

    The World Risk Index shows Asia is well above the global risk median. However, the Americas have the highest risk index score of all continents. Just under a third of all countries in the highest risk class are in North, Central, and South America. These include Colombia, Mexico, and the United States. The US ranks as the 18th highest-risk country on the index.

    With more than 1,900 earthquakes so far in 2023, Indonesia is the country most at risk of earthquakes

    Here are the countries that have experienced the most earthquakes in 2023. Any quake with an epicentre within 300 kilometres of the country and a magnitude of 4 or above is counted.

    Top 10 countries most at risk of earthquakes

    1. Indonesia – 1,941 earthquakes so far in 2023

    Indonesia has experienced the most earthquakes so far this year, 1,941. The largest of these recorded a magnitude of 7.1. An earthquake with a magnitude over seven is considered a major earthquake. Severe damage will have occurred at the epicentre.

    2. Mexico – 1,548 earthquakes so far in 2023

    Mexico has experienced 1,548 earthquakes this year, making it the second country most hit by earthquakes. The largest quake in Mexico recorded a magnitude of 6.4. An earthquake of magnitude six or higher may cause much damage in heavily populated areas.

    3. Turkey – 847 earthquakes so far in 2023

    In Turkey, there have been 847 earthquakes so far this year. The highest magnitude of earthquake recorded in Turkey reached 7.8. This is close to being considered a great earthquake (magnitude over 8), which can totally destroy communities near the epicentre.

    Somalia has a drought risk of 5/5 - making them the most at-risk country in the world

    The 2020 drought risk index shows the countries most at risk of drought. The index has a maximum score of 5/5, indicating the country is most at risk of drought. Drought risk is classified here in terms of socioeconomic effects such as agricultural losses. Many of the most at-risk countries are in Africa. This includes Zimbabwe, Djibouti, and South Africa.

    Top 10 countries most at risk of drought

    1. Somalia – 5 drought risk index

    Somalia was most at risk of drought, achieving the index’s highest score of 5/5. More recently, in 2023, the IPC predicted that around 4.3 million people would likely be affected by food shortages caused by drought.

    2. Zimbabwe – 4.72 drought risk index

    Zimbabwe was labelled the second most at-risk country for drought. Droughts frequently occur across Zimbabwe. Every district has been affected by drought over the past thirty years, with varying levels of severity and frequency. The most recent severe episode occurred between 2018 and 2019.

    3. Djibouti – 4.68 drought risk index

    Djibouti, the third most at-risk country for drought, is battling drought, affecting around 200,000 people. The current drought started in 2020. As of October 2022, about 72,000 people, including 29,000 children, needed humanitarian assistance. Approximately 6,000 people have been displaced.

    Over 10 million people are exposed to floods in the Netherlands

    A study published last year showed the effect of flooding. The study reveals that 1.81 billion people have been directly exposed to 1-in-100-year floods. The study also looks at the potential risk of flooding around the globe.

    Unsurprisingly, countries with extensive coastlines, river systems, and flatlands record higher percentages of their population at risk.

    Besides the Netherlands, only two European nations record risk percentages among the top 20 nations. These are Austria (29%) and Albania (28%).

    Climate change will increase flooding threats due to rising sea levels and the increasing frequency of heavy rains and storm events.

    The countries most at risk of floods

    1. Netherlands – 58.7%

    The Netherlands records the highest percentage of population at risk of flooding, at 58.7%. This means almost 3 in 5 people in the Netherlands are at risk of floods. Unfortunately for the Netherlands, more than 50% of the country is below sea level.

    2. Bangladesh – 57.5%

    The Netherlands and Bangladesh are the only nations in the world where over half of their populations are at risk from flooding. Over 57% of Bangladesh’s population is at risk of floods. Bangladesh is highly prone to flooding because of its location in the Bengal Delta (where rivers diverge into several outlets), the largest delta in the world.

    3. Vietnam – 46.0%

    Vietnam sees 46% of its population at risk of flooding. Vietnam is prone to monsoon seasons, where the country is hit with heavy rainfall. The impacts of the monsoon seasons are worsening due to rapid urbanisation, upstream dams, and poor drainage systems, which increase the country’s vulnerability to climate change.

    According to the INFORM Risk Value Index, Japan is the country most at risk of tropical cyclones

    Tropical cyclones can be some of the most destructive natural hazards that pose severe threats to the lives and properties of people worldwide.

    To investigate countries at risk of tropical cyclones, the IEA has released information on the cyclone risk of its member and association countries. The risk assessment is based on physical exposure to tropical cyclones.

    The countries most at risk of tropical cyclones

    1. Japan – 10 INFORM Risk Index value

    Japan has the highest risk index for tropical cyclones, the highest score. Typhoons occur frequently in Japan. The country sees about 18 typhoons every year. Only a few of these cross the country with their eye, but their foothills often cause significant damage.

    2. Korea – 8.5 INFORM Risk Index value

    Korea ranks next on the index with a high score of 8.5. On average, at least one tropical cyclone reaches Korea every year. In 2020, the country was hit by three typhoons in rapid succession.

    3. China – 8.1 INFORM Risk Index value

    China is the third most at-risk country from tropical cyclones on the INFORM index. The South China Sea and the northwestern Pacific Ocean are where tropical cyclones occur most frequently.

    Methodology

    The global damage costs from natural disasters were taken from OurWorldInData.

    The number of people affected by natural disasters by country was taken from OurWorldInData. The total population was taken from WorldBank to calculate the percentage of each country’s population affected by natural disasters.

    The World Risk Report was recorded from WeltRisikoBericht.

    The countries most at risk of natural disasters were recorded from the following sources: earthquakes, drought, floods, and tropical cyclones.

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