|Climate change is getting worse and now it affects the weather and climate system with the temperature went up to more than 1.6 Fahrenheit since 1906 / Photo by: Marvin Nauman via Wikimedia Commons|
Climate change is worsening as the years pass by. It has affected our planet's weather and climate systems. In fact, the National Geographic reported that the global average surface temperature has increased by more than 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit since 1906. This is especially more evident in the polar regions. The heat in the planet which is becoming worse than ever is melting sea ice and glaciers, disrupting the wildlife, and shifting precipitation patterns.
At the same time, climate change is also affecting our ocean which is becoming more acidic, heavily affecting marine life. This is because 30% of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels is being absorbed by our oceans. Our planet is also at greater risk of storm surge and erosion especially in coastal areas because of the rising sea levels.
Even humans are also affected by climate change. The growing disruptions of our planet caused by climate change can cause an increase in waterborne diseases, more heat stress, diseases transmitted by insects and rodents, and poor air quality. As LeRoy Westerling, professor of Management of Complex Systems, said, “Climate change has introduced unprecedented rates of change for anything that we've been able to measure or recreate."
Prevalence of Natural Disasters Due to Climate Change
Climate change has also affected the frequency and intensity of natural disasters such as flash floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and many more. These extreme weather events have caused significant loss of life and damage in properties. Natural disasters are particularly dangerous for developing countries which have small, lower incomes.
For the past years, people have seen how natural disasters are becoming worse. In fact, an article by the International Monetary Fund reported that there were more than 8,000 weather-related events between 1990 and 2014. It has been revealed that among the most significant predictors of most disasters are temperature and precipitation. Thus, higher temperature is mostly linked to disasters caused by wildfires, droughts, tropical cyclones, heat waves, and other storms.
|Climate change also makes tropical storms more frequent and caused destruction and loss of life / Photo by: Seaman Christopher Lange via Wikimedia Commons|
The October 2017 World Economic Outlook showed that the mean global temperature can increase by about 4°C by 2100. The researchers combined the empirical estimates from historical data for each country under the unmitigated climate change scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is to ascertain that global warming can have an impact on the frequency of natural disasters in the years to come.
Through the projected temperature and precipitation of each country, the researchers are able to predict the probability of the weather-related disaster in 2050 and 2100. The findings of the report showed that our planet is at risk of most types of weather-related disasters by the end of the century. The frequency of natural disasters will increase considerably as well. Some of the causes include tropical cyclones, heat waves, and wildfires. At the same time, floods and epidemics will also become more common, affecting most of the low-income countries.
The Intensity of Tropical Storms
The probability and frequency of natural disasters will not only be the impact of climate change in the future but also its intensity. In fact, researchers from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit found out that climate change is worsening the risks of extreme weather events.
According to an article by The Independent, out of 59 studies used by the researchers, 41 of those showed that climate change made extreme weather events more intense and more long-lived. This includes the tropical storm affecting the United Kingdom in 2015. It has been reported that it caused at least 4,000 deaths and $8bn (£5.9bn) in economic damage.
Additionally, a recent study conducted by researchers from the Oregan State University learned that tropical storms are more likely to become more deadly due to climate change in the next years. This can leave people from developing countries to suffer and be at risk of death. Todd Pugatch, an associate professor of economics at the College of Liberal Arts at OSU and the study's author, stated that tropical storm-related deaths will rise by 52% as the climate changes.
|The probability and frequency of the storm will affect its strength and intensity and climate change worsens the risks of extreme weather events / Photo by: 12019 via Pixabay|
In an interview, Pugatch said, "Tropical storms can strike quickly, leaving little opportunity to escape their path, and the impact on developing countries is significant. Understanding the effects of these storms, and how those effects may change as the climate changes, can help governments and people better prepare in the future, and hopefully, save lives."
According to an article by the Science Daily, international economic development is the main focus of Pugatch's study which shows that the developing world will suffer the greatest impact of climate change, especially the most vulnerable populations. He wanted to better understand the connection between mortality and climate change since most of the time, mortality is more likely to become the most basic form of vulnerability to extreme weather events.
Pugatch used meteorological data to quantify the impact of tropical storms on Mexico's mortality rate between 1900 to 2011. This is to measure both the death records and storm strength to estimate storm-related mortality. He found out that during the said period, about 1,600 people were killed by tropical storms.