Weather, climate threats top list of 2018 Global Risks Report
By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
February 06, 2018, 10:29:06 AM EST
Share this article:
Weather and climate threats are among the top risks that will have the biggest global impact in the next 10 years, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.
The report is an assessment by 1,000 experts and decision-makers on the likelihood and impact of global risks over a 10-year period.
Following a devastating year for weather and natural disasters in 2017, the Global Risk Report highlighted the environment as an area of particular concern this year.
Behind weapons of mass destruction in the top spot are extreme weather events, natural disasters, failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation and water crises.
"Extreme weather events have ranked in the top two future risks since 2014. It should be alarming to the general public," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.
Meanwhile, extreme weather events and natural disasters claimed spots one and two for risks most likely to occur in the next 10 years.
“This is not surprising: September 2017 was the most intense month on record for extreme weather events, as well as the most expensive U.S. hurricane season since 2005 with economic losses in excess of $300 billion,” Group Chief Risk Officer Alison Martin said.
During 2017, catastrophic weather resulted in a record-setting cost to the United States, in particular.
Sixteen billion-dollar weather and climate events occurred, costing a total of $306 billion in damage. It shattered the previous U.S. annual record of $214.8 billion (CPI-adjusted) in 2005.
“And the U.S. was not alone in experiencing extreme weather: Ireland, for example, had its worst tropical storm in more than 50 years,” she said.
Record number of billion dollar weather disasters strikes US in early 2017
15 photos recall the magnitude, devastation of natural disasters around the world in 2017
2018 Winter Olympics: Cold winds may leave spectators shivering at PyeongChang opening ceremony
2017 also became the third hottest year on record and the hottest year on record without an El Niño.
"The world is clearly warming and a warming world will make these rare, extreme events much more commonplace," Anderson said.
According to Martin, too little has been done to mitigate climate change and that’s not likely to change.
“Our own analysis shows that the likelihood of missing the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius or below is greater than the likelihood of achieving it. This is likely to exacerbate the impact of global environmental risks,” she said.
“I fear we may squander the opportunity to move towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive future. As a business leader, a member of our society and a parent, this makes me deeply concerned about the future we may leave for the generations to come.”
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
1st-ever coral rearing project aims to help the Great Barrier Reef recover until climate action ensures survival
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 12:36:27 PM EST
The annual coral spawning, one of nature’s most miraculous events, takes place every year around the October or November full moons and world renown scientists are using the event to help save the Great Barrier Reef.
Owen to strengthen, threaten Queensland and Northern Territory with flooding, damaging winds into this weekend
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 11:39:38 AM EST
Tropical Cyclone Owen will bring the risk for flooding and damaging winds to parts of Northern Territory and Queensland through at least Sunday.
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 10:39:13 AM EST
A series of storms will train across the northwestern United States and British Columbia into next week with periods of heavy rain, fog, mountain snow and gusty winds.
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 11:04:06 AM EST
Residents in a northeastern Pennsylvania city took a festive twist to dealing with a large pothole in their neighborhood.
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 2:02:31 PM EST
This weekend will feature an uncommon scene in the night sky as a comet glides past the Earth.
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 1:03:11 PM EST
A quick-hitting storm may drop just enough snow to create slippery travel from the Great Lakes to the central Appalachians into Thursday morning.
Weather News - December 12, 2018, 7:31:00 AM EST
An earthquake shook eastern Tennessee early Wednesday morning, with shaking felt as far away as downtown Atlanta.
Weather News - December 11, 2018, 7:24:06 PM EST
A rare phenomenon called light pillars were seen beaming up to the night's sky in Beloit, Wisconsin, on Sunday evening.