Peripatetic Event

The Climate Crisis and How It Impacts Disasters

Climate consciousness is currently at an all-time high, especially considering that 2023 was the hottest year on record. However, while much of the conversation about climate change focuses on the long-term, lasting effects, such as rising sea levels, mass extinctions, and compromised masses of land, it’s also worth noting that rising temperatures are also believed to contribute to extreme weather events and disasters.

5-Fold Increase over 50 Years

According to the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, climate and weather-related events have increased five-fold in the last 50 years, trending upwards in time with the temperature going up. This indicates clearly that climate change has an impact on disasters and extreme weather scenarios, and while international responders are better than ever at saving lives, the financial costs of these events have never been higher.

How Climate Change Impacts Disasters

Increasing temperatures can impact weather and disasters in a multitude of ways.

Drought Risks: In many areas of the world, increased temperatures might mean a significant increase in the risk of droughts. This can cause huge human suffering, especially as these issues generally end up impacting countries with lower GDPs and substandard economic stability.

Wildfires: Droughts and increased temperatures can dry out more than just the ground or water sources – the dryness can also have adverse effects on forests and plant life. When foliage is dried out, it becomes a much higher wildfire risk, with the potential for a small spark to spin itself into a frenzied blaze significantly increased.

Storms: Increasing temperatures impact storms in a twofold manner. For one, increased evaporation leads to more condensation – essentially pure fuel for storms. Secondly, higher temperatures in the ocean have an influence on wind speeds, which increases the intensity of storms.

European Weather Events

It’s important to note that the last year was historic for Europe in terms of disasters. In fact, storms in Europe (thunderstorms specifically) caused a record €9.1 billion in damages – the highest cost for damages of this nature in the history of the continent. Notably, there was a two-week period in Julyin which the Alpine region, Northern Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and the central Balkan region suffered the havoc of tornadoes, giant hail, flash floods, and destructive winds.

The world needs to be even more climate-conscious if it wants to effectively mitigate disasters and their impacts, with last year’s events showing that the issue is one of global significance. While response and recovery methods are a vital element of mitigation, there needs to be a focus on long-term sustainable solutions for the sake of society.

Discover solutions at Disasters Expo Europe that prioritise inclusive policies, education, healthcare, and disaster preparedness, tying everything together with an ever-present focus on sustainability. All of these avenues are key to building a more resilient and equitable future. Attend this event to gain insights, network, and contribute to the global effort to address these critical issues.

Find Disasters Expo Europe listed on PreventionWeb