Special Report

Worst Climate-Related Disasters Since 2010

This week, hundreds died in a heat wave “apocalypse,” as meteorologists put it, in Europe. In June, Arctic wildfires raged and record-breaking floods hit Yellowstone National Park, Bangladesh, and India.

There have been dozens of extreme climate events in 2022 alone. Such trends will continue, scientists warn, becoming the norm for many cities, particularly those that are most vulnerable to climate change. (These are the worst cities to live in as climate change gets worse.)

Human-caused climate change is associated with the increase of extreme climate events, and as atmospheric temperatures rise, stronger storms and climate extremes would be triggered. Humans now face a number of climate tipping points, requiring significant mitigation. These are the 10 climate tipping points the world needs to avoid.

To determine the worst climate-related events since 2010, 24/7 Wall St., reviewed data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Climate.gov, Weather.com, Disasterphilanthropy.org, EcoWatch.com, and referenced media sources, including the Washington Post, BBC.com, CNN.com, ABCnews.com, TheAtlantic.com, and QZ.com. The list focuses on extraordinary weather-related events that seem to be caused by or connected with climate change. Events are ordered chronologically.

Many regions are affected by these climate events, with every continent home to one or more disasters on our list. North America and Asia have been hit particularly hard by flooding, with Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan seeing some of the worst. While rich, developed nations may have infrastructure to dampen the impact of such events, poorer, developing nations like Somalia, which have been afflicted by drought and famine, face increasing challenges to meet basic living needs, such as food.

Climate change has been implicated in all of the worst climate-related events since 2010. Of the 43 climate events, 17 are instances of flooding. While some countries experience flooding regularly, these events are more extreme and deadly than ever before, triggered by global warming. The list includes 12 storms (Including hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones), 11 heat wave events, four wildfires, and three tornado outbreaks.

While the death count and economic loss of each event is significant on its own, their total cost is staggering. Added up, the worst climate-related events since 2010 have contributed to over 328,000 deaths and an estimated more than $870 billion in damages and economic loss. The deadliest climate event on our list is the 2011-2012 drought in East Africa, which led to at least 250,000 deaths.

Click here to see the worst climate-related events since 2010.

To determine the worst climate-related events, 24/7 Wall St., reviewed data from sources such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Climate.gov, Weather.com, Disasterphilanthropy.org, EcoWatch.com, and media sources such as the Washington Post, BBC.com, CNN.com, ABCnews.com, TheAtlantic.com, and QZ.com. We compiled our list by focusing on extraordinary weather-related events that seemed to be caused or connected with climate change.

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