Global Natural Disasters 1900 to 2009

In 2010 we saw massive floods in Pakistan, a heat wave in the northern hemisphere, and more recently, unusually cold weather in Europe and North America (which counter-intuitively, has been linked to global warming).

And of course, there are the recent floods right up the East coast of Australia.

How do these events fit into global trends for natural disasters?

Check out this graph:
http://www.emdat.be/sites/default/files/Trends/natural/world_1900_2009/5a.png

It shows the number of natural disasters reported from 1900 to 2009. It doesn’t show unreported disasters (no idea how many there could have been but the low results pre-50s is probably due to less reporting combined with lower population [hence less people affected]).

It also doesn’t indicate the severity of disasters (e.g. strength of storms, number killed, $ damage). But it does show an unmistakable rise in the number of storms & flood disasters reported from the 70s onwards. You can see that the growth in earthquakes is minimal by comparison. Earthquakes aren’t caused by global warming (if you ignore glacier movement), and their limited growth is probably due to better reporting & population growth.

It’s clear what’s happening.

How much more do these graphs have to balloon out before the public, in countries like Australia & the US, gets serious about global warming?

950 natural catastrophes make 2010 the costliest year of disasters in decades | http://su.pr/186Yzb

Check http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/doc110?OpenForm for natural disasters 2010

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About jboydedu

The Australian Centre for Sustainability Literacy is a division of Julie Boyd and Associates, who have been working for three decades to educate students in becoming positively contributing world citizens. We use a careful integration of solid research and evidence from a broad range of fields across education, community, business and leadership to support the 7th Generation concept which says that all decisions need to be made for the benefit of 7 generations forward.
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