Climate hazards are natural occurrences that happen during weather cycles. Hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, flooding, and high winds have always been a part of our lives. However, we are currently witnessing unprecedented levels of damage and devastation due to global warming.
Simply defined, global climate change or global warming exasperates climate hazards and increases the probability of extreme weather disasters. Warming sea levels, supercharged storms and higher wind speeds, more intense and prolonged droughts and wildfire seasons, heavier precipitation, and flooding are all consequences of rising air and water temperatures.
Several terrible climatic disasters have struck various parts of the world in the last year, including Cyclone Idai, deadly heatwaves in India, Pakistan, and Europe, and flooding in Southeast Asia.
Due to global warming, millions of people have already lost their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones as a result of more dangerous and frequent extreme weather events, from Mozambique to Bangladesh. Here are the 5 deadly natural disasters that are a result of global warming.
Natural Disasters that are a result of Global Warming
- Cyclones Idai and Kenneth
In March 2019, Cyclone Idai devastated Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique in Southern Africa, killing over 1000 people and displacing millions more who were left without food or basic amenities. Severe global warming led to landslides that killed people and ruined houses, crops, and infrastructure. Six weeks later, Cyclone Kenneth swept through northern Mozambique, striking locations where no tropical cyclone had been seen since the satellite era.
- Amazon rainforest wildfires
The destruction caused by the fires in the Amazon region in 2019 was unprecedented. By October of that year, tens of thousands of flames had scorched over 7,600 square kilometers. Things aren’t going to get any better in 2020, and they might even get worse.
Fires in the Amazon in 2020 outnumbered those in 2019, according to NASA’s Global Fire Emissions Database study. The flames in 2020 are the deadliest since the satellite was initially launched in 2012. According to INPE, Brazil’s national research space organization, the number of fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon jumped by 28% in July 2020 compared to the previous year, and the fires in the first week of September are double those in 2019. The Amazon Wildfires have been severely impacted by global warming.
- East Africa Drought
Drought risk in the Horn of Africa has risen as a result of higher sea temperatures linked to climate change. Droughts in 2011, 2017, and 2019 wiped out crops and cattle numerous times. Droughts have left 15 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia in need of assistance, yet just 35% of the aid money has been allocated. People have been evicted from their houses because they lack the financial means to feed themselves. Hundreds of millions of people are suffering from severe food and water shortages. Global Warming can be deadly at times
- Australian Wildfires
Global Warming has led Australia to be in the midst of its worst-ever bushfire season at the start of 2020, following its warmest year on record, which had left soil and fuels very dry.
The wildfires have burnt over more than 10 million hectares, killing at least 28 people, destroying entire communities to the ground, displacing thousands of families, and causing hazardous smoke pollution for millions of people. Over a billion native creatures have been slaughtered, and certain species and ecosystems may never fully recover.
- South Asia Floods
In India, Nepal, and Bangladesh, devastating floods and landslides have forced 12 million people to flee their homes in the previous year. Exceptionally high monsoon rains and severe flooding devastated, killed, and displaced people in the same countries just two years earlier. Flooding was the worst in some areas in nearly 30 years, with a third of Bangladesh submerged all due to global warming.
While some flooding is inevitable throughout the monsoon season, experts claim that rising sea surface temperatures in South Asia are intensifying the region’s monsoon rains.