May 20, 2024

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Global flood losses hit $82 billion last year, as study highlights UK risk

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By Gloria Dickie

LONDON – Flooding value the worldwide financial system more than $82 billion final 12 months, accounting for nearly a third of all losses from all-natural catastrophes, reinsurance company Swiss Re Institute described Wednesday.

In some elements of Europe, these types of losses could climb. A new study in the journal Mother nature identified that stormy seas all over Scotland and northern England have unleashed an expanding variety of excessive storm surges in modern a long time.

“Floods influence almost a third of the planet populace, more than any other peril,” claimed Martin Bertogg, head of disaster perils at Swiss Re, in a statement. In 2021, there were being extra than 50 serious flood functions across the entire world, generally brought on by intense rainfall and coastal storm surges.

Researchers prolonged considered that extra serious flooding together very low-lying coastlines was driven only by the world’s rising sea ranges, triggered by climate modify melting polar ice and warming ocean waters so they expand.

But researchers found that, in northern parts of the United Kingdom, stronger and far more regular storms more than the North Atlantic due to the fact 1960 led to far more serious storm surges, in accordance to the Mother nature study https://www.nature.com/posts/s41586-022-04426-5 unveiled Wednesday. The improved storm activity was as much to blame for the raise in severe storm flooding as was sea stage rise.

Close to mainland Europe, having said that, calmer temperature canceled out the storm surge impacts of sea amount increase between 1960 and 2018.

“Most countries think that the probability of surge extremes will remain the similar and only account for sea stage increase,” said direct creator Francisco Calafat at the Countrywide Oceanography Centre in the United Kingdom. This might result in governments to underestimate upcoming flooding, he explained.

If European international locations do not adapt to rising flood threats, they could facial area up to approximately 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) in annually damages by 2100, in accordance to a 2018 examine in the journal Nature Local weather Change. The United Kingdom would be most difficult hit, experiencing about a fifth of people damages.

Comprehending storm dynamics “is critical for coastal planning and safeguarding close to shore societies,” claimed oceanographer Michalis Vousdoukas with the European Fee.

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