Damage caused by climate change due to extreme weather has cost around $16 million (about €15.2 million) per hour over the past 20 years, a new study estimates. Those in charge say that this first study to estimate global figure due to rising costs directly related to human-caused global warming.
Analysis published in a scientific journal Natural communications, reported an average of $140 billion per year between 2000 and 2019. But this figure varies significantly from year to year. By 2022, for example, Damage is estimated at $280 billion.
Researchers have created a new cost forecasting model. They took into account evidence of how climate change has worsened some extreme weather events. To this they added economic records of the losses they caused.
More than 60% of costs were associated with people who died over the 20 years of analysis.. The investigation found that at least 60,951 deaths were directly linked to climate change, out of a total of 185 natural disasters considered.
There is already an important bibliography that scientifically attributes the occurrence of certain phenomena to global warming. And there are more and more of them. For example, a study published by World Weather Attribution (WWA) found that last summer’s heat wave in the northern hemisphere would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change.
Storms cause the greatest damage from climate change
Two-thirds are associated with costs associated with loss of life, the other third is associated with the destruction of property and other assets. More than 64% of the damage caused by climate change is due to hurricanes. Like Hurricane Harvey, which occurred in 2017 in the United States and is considered one of the most serious in this country. Or Cyclone Nargis, which affected more than 2 million people in 2008 and is Myanmar’s worst natural disaster.
Climate change is often associated with droughts or fires. However, this year there was a record amount of rainfall. 139 times in cities around the world, according to a report from Bloomberg.
For example, in September, an extraordinary storm in Libya killed thousands of people. In just 24 hours, 414 millimeters of water fell in the Libyan city of Al-Bayda. This is equivalent to 18 months of normal rain.
16% of the damage attributed by the analysis is directly related to heat waves. Floods and droughts account for 10% each, and forest fires account for 2%. On the other hand, cold events were more likely to be seen as reducing the costs of climate change by -2%.
How are costs calculated?
The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that there is almost certainly a climate change component to the increase in reported losses from natural disasters. And the World Meteorological Organization says recorded losses from extreme weather events have increased sevenfold since the 1970s.
However, this latest study’s calculations do not take into account the impact on records of factors such as increased damage reporting, demographic growth or urban migration. This is a difficult review.
Researchers with the new projection model sought to achieve greater accuracy using a different methodology. They compiled all available research on extreme event attribution (EEA), an approach that tries to determine how much of the credit or risk of an extreme event should be attributed to global warming and how much of that is due to natural weather conditions. They combined this with information on socioeconomic costs and extrapolated the missing data to arrive at an estimate of total damage.
They also took the International Database on Natural Disasters (EM-DAT) as a basis. This registry considers an event extreme if: it causes 10 or more deaths; at least 100 people were injured or left homeless; or when there is a declaration of a state of emergency by the authorities and/or a call for international assistance.
To evaluate the economic calculation of human costs, they used the statistical value of life (SVL) as a benchmark, a standard metric used in many policy decisions. VSL varies by country, so the researchers chose an average from benchmark values used by the US and UK governments. Ultimately, the study estimates the cost of each life lost at $7 million.
Damage from climate change is greater
“A lot of people really don’t like the idea that we put a price on life,” said Ilan Noy of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, who conducted the study with Rebecca Newman. “But this is a very standard economic practice, and it happens because ultimately we need to make decisions about the cost of investing in different things,” Noah explained. The keeper.
The estimate of $140 billion a year seems high. But that figure is “significantly underestimated,” analysts say. ANDThe study does not take into account many extreme climate events for which there was no data, especially in poorer countries. The number of deaths from heat waves was only available in Europe. For example, it is unknown how many people died from heat waves in sub-Saharan Africa.
This approach also does not take into account indirect losses, which can be much more significant. This year’s wildfires in Canada have caused more than just economic damage to the Canadian cities where the fires occurred. They have also negatively impacted areas of the northeastern United States such as New York City.
Usefulness of the new method
The scientists admit that their method has several drawbacks. However, they highlight that many traditional estimates are less reliable and underestimate many of the most important impacts associated with climate change. “This makes the study of an alternative and complementary method of cost estimation fundamentally important, even if this method has its shortcomings,” they note in the report.
Stefan Allegatt of the World Bank, who is not part of the research team, said the approach is much simpler, more reliable and more convincing. “One of the lessons from the study is that global think tanks, mostly based in rich countries, need to do more work on what is happening in poorer countries,” he said. The keeper.
The richest countries – and the most polluting ones – committed to mobilizing $100 billion a year in 2016. The goal was to help countries with fewer resources adapt to climate change or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Help never came.
Those responsible for the study say their new method could provide a starting point for assessing when funding will actually be needed. This issue will be one of the central discussions at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will be held from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai.
Source: Hiper Textual