Extreme Weather Disasters in 2021 linked to a changing climate, brought misery to millions around the world according to a new report.
A study carried out by the charity Christian Aid, identified 10 extreme events that each caused more than $1.5bn (USD) of damage.
The biggest financial impacts were from Hurricane Ida which hit the US in August and flooding Europe in July.
In many poorer regions, floods and storms caused mass displacements of people and severe suffering.
In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published the first part of its sixth assessment report.
In relation to hurricanes and tropical cyclones, the authors said they had “high confidence” that the evidence of human influence has strengthened.
“The proportion of intense tropical cyclones, average peak tropical cyclone wind speeds, and peak wind speeds of the most intense tropical cyclones will increase on the global scale with increasing global warming,” the study said.
According to Christian Aid it was the most financially destructive weather event of the year.
That storm brought massive rainfall across a number of states and cities, with New York issuing a flash-flood emergency alert for the first time.
Around 95 people died, with the economic losses estimated at $65bn.
The speed and intensity of the water overwhelmed defences and 240 people lost their lives. Reported damages were around $43bn.
In the study, the majority of the weather events in the list occurred in developed countries.
According to insurance company Aon, 2021 is likely to be the fourth time in five years that global natural catastrophes have cost more than $100bn.
All are considered one in 1,000-year events, having only a 0.1% chance of happening in any given year. But as global temperatures rise, these kinds of extremes are happening more frequently
Flooding in South Sudan displaced over 800,000 people while 200,000 had to move to escape Cyclone Tauktae which hit India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives in May.
The report highlights the need for increased efforts on curbing emissions of carbon dioxide to reduce future weather related impacts. It is also calling on global climate diplomats to put their money where their mouth is and help poorer countries that suffer huge economic losses.
Whether it was too much water or too much heat, extreme weather events in 2021 exposed major shortfalls in how prepared cities and governments are to handle them. Most of the country’s homes, roads and public safety systems were designed for the climate of the last century, when the most extreme weather events currently occurring were considered improbable.