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Global costs of extreme weather events

Year: 2006 Author: Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
The loss data on great natural disasters in the last decades show a dramatic increase in catastrophe losses. A decade comparison since 1960 is shown in the table. The reasons for this development are manifold and encompass the increase in world population and the simultaneous concentration of people and values in large conurbations, the development of highly exposed regions and the high vulnerability of modern societies and technologies, and finally changes in the natural environment like global warming and the related regional effects. As the underlying factors for the observed loss trend remain unchanged, a further increase in losses from natural disasters is inevitable.
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