A very active hurricane season in the North Atlantic, large floods caused by monsoons in the Indian subcontinent, and continuous and strong droughts in areas of East Africa were the extreme climatic phenomena of 2017 which caused the highest economic losses related to weather phenomena and extreme climatic change.
All these have been recently confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a UN agency specializing in weather, climate and water, in its “Declaration on the State of the World’s Climate in 2017”, made public this Thursday on the eve of the Meteorological Day World, which is celebrated this Friday, March 23rd.
The highest economic losses in history caused by climate change – More than $320 billion in losses
Thus, the German insurance company, Munich Re has evaluated the losses caused by 2017’s worldwide extreme climatic events at more than $320 billion, which is the highest figure ever registered.
The WMO Declaration also confirms that 2017 was one of the three warmest years in history, without being influenced by the El Nino phenomenon.
The analysis examines other long-term indicators of climate change, such as increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), sea level rise, melting of the Arctic sea, ocean heat, and ocean acidification.
Last year, the highest global temperature reached to 1.1 degrees Celsius, representing the highest measurement ever registered. However, the global average temperature of 2017 was 0.9 degrees Celsius.
Increased amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere and warmer and more acid oceans
The researchers stressed that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have increased in the last quarter of the century from 360 parts per million (ppm) to more than 400 ppm and added that “they will remain above that level for several generations, so that the planet will face a warmer future and more extreme meteorological, climatic, and hydrological phenomena”.
On the other hand, the global oceans temperature in 2017 was the third warmest ever recorded and the calorific content of the oceans (the difference between the surface and the 2,000-meter deep temperatures) reached unprecedented levels in 2017.
Besides, for the second year in a row, sea surface temperatures above the average that occurred on the eastern coast of Australia caused a significant discoloration of the coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.
These being said, it is clear that the climate change leads to extreme climatic phenomena and these extreme climatic phenomena of 2017 caused the highest economic losses in history.