NEW YORK – Over the last three decades, economic losses associated with natural disasters like floods, storm surges, hurricanes, and droughts have risen in lockstep with the steady climb in global temperatures. Data from a growing number of governments suggest that, so far this century, such losses have amounted to around $2.5 trillion. And, as the latest report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns, the worst is yet to come.
This escalation will, of course, be driven largely by the increasingly frequent and intense weather events associated with higher global temperatures. But inadequate preparation will exacerbate the problem considerably.