Scientists say global warming makes catastrophes such as floods and droughts more likely. Climate disasters have caused far more than $100 billion worth of damage last year, according to research that described 2021 as one of the costliest years on record.
This past year saw an inundation of climate disasters worldwide. Changing weather patterns have led to extreme events like hurricanes in the US Northeast and floods inundated cities across Europe, which caught many residents off guard. Fire pummeled communities and sent emissions through the roof across Turkey, Siberia, and the western US. The intensity of many of this year’s events has destroyed public and private property displacing millions around the globe.
Christian Aid, a UK-based charity focused on addressing global poverty, released a report last week outlining some of the worst disasters this year–and the billions of dollars in damage they have caused. Out of the 15 climate-related disasters described in the study, ten have cost more than a billion dollars worth of damages. This will be the sixth year out of the last ten that have cost over $100 billion due to global natural catastrophes.
Hurricane Ida, which struck various states across the East Coast in late August into early September, was the most expensive climate event of the year racking up damages and costing about $65 billion. Several months after this storm, thousands of displaced people, including 14,000 in one Louisiana parish alone, were still looking for suitable shelter. The report reflects a 13 percent increase in the price pinned to the most damaging climate disasters. Still, these estimates came from insured losses, which means actual damage could be significantly higher.
Researchers at Christian Aid also noted that millions of people were displaced because some of the singular billion-dollar disasters forcibly displaced tens of thousands at once, like the floods in British Columbia in Canada. The South Sudan floods that went on for weeks displaced more than 800,000 people. More than 1,000 people have died as a result of these disastrous storms.