Climate disasters in 2021 will affect millions of lives, cause billions of dollars in economic damage worldwide and bring into reality the dangers of higher temperatures and climate change in general.
big picture: Preliminary data has ranked 2021 as the sixth warmest year on record. Meteorologists warn that rising surface temperatures make floods, droughts, heat and cold waves, wildfires and tropical storms and hurricanes more common and intense.
By numbers: A recent study estimated that the disasters of extreme weather and climate events last year caused a total of $170.3 billion in economic losses on top of severe human suffering.
- The United States has the second largest number of weather and climate disasters worth billions of dollars a year on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
A winter storm that struck Texas in February left millions without power and killed at least 246.
Wildfires ravaged the western US again last year, with California recording the second largest fire in its history.
One of the strongest and most destructive storms ever recorded in the US, Hurricane Ida killed at least 91 people in nine states after making landfall in late August. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
The extreme rainfall and flooding brought on by the remnants of Hurricane Ida killed at least 40 people across the northeastern US in early September, including at least twelve confirmed deaths in New York City.
At least 184 people were killed in rare severe flooding in Germany and Belgium in July.
In July, thousands of people were evacuated and at least 12 people were killed in heavy floods caused by torrential rains in China’s Henan province.
Hurricane Rai hit the Philippines in December, killing more than 300 people and injuring at least 500 others.
In August, Greece’s second-largest island of Evia was forced to evacuate hundreds of people after drought conditions caused wildfires, destroyed homes and businesses and killed wildlife.
Unusually intense wildfires for several months also affected parts of Siberia, with some of the northernmost fires threatening to disturb the layer of permafrost that surrounds the Arctic.
A historic heatwave in the Pacific Northwest in late June and early July killed hundreds in the US and Canada and left thousands hospitalized for heat-related illness.
go in: The last 7 years have been the 7 warmest on Earth