The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization on Thursday said that 2017 was the most expensive year on record for severe weather and climate calamities globally. German reinsurer Munich Re estimated the total cost from climate-related disasters in 2017 to be $320 billion (approximately Rs 2.08 lakh crore).
The meteorological organisation’s statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2017 said the North Atlantic hurricane season, major monsoon flooding in India and the ongoing severe drought in parts of east Africa among other weather extremes had a major impact on economic development, food security, health and migration.
It also said that the last three years were the hottest on record. Last year was also recorded as the hottest year if El Nino, which releases heat from the Pacific Ocean, was not factored in, the report said. The World Meteorological Organization attributes the rise in temperatures to man-made emissions of greenhouse gases.
The report is aimed at providing data to assist in international efforts to reduce disaster risks, help sustainable development and climate change. “The start of 2018 has continued where 2017 left off – with extreme weather claiming lives and destroying livelihoods,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.