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New Study Links Climate Change to Mounting Natural Disasters

November 26, 2015

New Study Links Climate Change to Mounting Natural Disasters

IED News Release | 26 November 2015

MANILA, PHILIPPINES — More frequent floods, storms, heat waves, and droughts are connected to greater extremes in temperatures and rainfall, according to Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters, a new study from Independent Evaluation at the Asian Development Bank. In a global analysis spanning the last four decades, the study shows that the rise in climate-related disasters is linked not only to people’s increased exposure and vulnerability, but also to changes in temperature and rainfall resulting from rising greenhouse gases.

The study, published as an ADB Economics Working Paper, is timely given the recent warnings by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other climate monitors that global temperature is already halfway to the “two degree warming” threshold for limiting catastrophic climatic impacts. Released just ahead of the United Nations climate change meetings in Paris in December, these findings add fresh urgency to cutting emissions.

Three implications are inherent in these findings. First, climate impacts are not just concerns for the distant future, but are already being felt. Second, heavy damages from climate-related disasters are being incurred by all countries, rich and poor, although the death toll has been especially high among the poor who are more likely to live in harm’s way, such as in flood-prone areas. And third, it is a mistake to think that climate action—such as switching from dirty fossil fuels to cleaner renewable sources—will hold back economic growth.

Read more at Asian Development Bank.

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