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Climate change a factor in most of the 7,000 natural disasters over last 20 years: UN report

Climate change a factor in most of the 7,000 natural disasters over last 20 years: UN report
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There were more than 7,000 extreme weather events since 2000, a major increase over the previ.ous 20 years due in part to climate change, according to a Monday report from the United Nations.

From 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major recorded disasters claiming 1.23 million lives, affecting 4.2 billion people, “many on more than one occasion,” and causing approximately $2.97 trillion in global economic losses, according to the report.

There were 4,212 such events from 1980 to 1999, which took 1.19 million lives, affected 3.25 billion people and resulted in approximately $1.63 trillion in economic losses. 

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“Much of the difference is explained by a rise in climate-related disasters including extreme weather events: from 3,656 climate-related events (1980-1999) to 6,681 climate-related disasters in the period 2000-2019,” according to the report, which was released ahead of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction.

"It is baffling that we willingly and knowingly continue to sow the seeds of our own destruction, despite the science and evidence that we are turning our only home into an uninhabitable hell for millions of people," Mami Mizutori, head of the U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, wrote in the report's forward.

Flooding and storms were the most prevalent events, together comprising 72 percent of all major natural disasters. The number of major floods doubled between the two time periods.