National Geographic : 2015 Nov
GEOPHYSICAL EVENTS Earthquake, tsunami, volcanic activity Though they can be extreme, geophysical events are not directly associated with changes in climate and weather. 1980 1990 2000 2010 ’14 $400 billion* *Values as of 2014 adjusted for inflation 3 2 1 Katrina Japan earthquake, tsunami Sandy Ivan Hurricane Andrew HYDROLOGICAL EVENTS Flood, mass movement METEOROLOGICAL EVENTS Tropical, extratropical, convective, and local storms CLIMATOLOGICAL EVENTS Extreme temperatures, drought, forest fire 291 904 NUMBER OF WORLDWIDE CATASTROPHIC EVENTS 1980 total 2014 total Notable natural disasters: Hurricane Andrew Hurricane Ivan Hurricane Katrina Japan earthquake, tsunami Hurricane Sandy 400 413 91 174 88 29 1992 2004 2005 2012 2011 1980 1990 2000 2010 2014 SOURCES: AHMADABAD HEAT ACTION PLAN 2015; BANGLADESH CLIMATE PLAN 2009; CITY OF NEW YORK; IPCC; MUNICH RE NATCATSERVICE; NOAA RISING SEAS, RISING CONCERNS Climate change may not cause a particular storm, but rising sea levels can worsen its impact. In 2012 a nine-foot storm surge from Hurricane Sandy hit New York City at high tide, making the water 14 feet higher than normal at the tip of Manhattan. Flooding destroyed neighborhoods and beaches in outer boroughs. The sea level in this area is rising by more than an inch each decade—twice as fast as the global average—and is predicted to rise 11 to 21 inches by 2050. To prepare, the city is implementing coastal resiliency measures: A multiuse project will create more green spaces for city residents as well as a system of floodwalls, berms, and retractable barriers for enhanced storm protection. The price of natural catastrophes Costly storm and flood damage to burgeoning coastal infrastructure is growing. Innovations such as building floating villages and relocating vulnerable assets away from rising seas can reduce risk and losses. Promising sunny weddings, a European company can set up “cloud seeding” so rain falls before the big day. An earlier arrival of spring will lengthen the pollen season. By some estimates, pollen levels could more than double by 2040. No more than 20 percent of farmers in India are insured against crop loss.