UN report: The death toll of natural disasters is staggering

UN report: The death toll of natural disasters is staggering

The UN has released a report on just how many people have died from weather in the last two decades -- and it's huge.

A new report from the United Nations has put a figure to the people who have died from weather-related disasters in the last two decades, and it’s eye-opening.

More than 600,000 people have died as a result of weather-related disasters, which have caused trillions of dollars in damage, and it’s a small taste of what’s to come from global warming, according to a New York Times report.

The findings were released in advance of an important climate meeting to be held in Paris on Monday that will featured 120 national leaders who will try to figure out a way to control greenhouse gas emissions and reverse the trend of climate change.

The biggest victim is the United States when it comes to the number of weather-related disasters, but more people have died in China and India due to flooding that has killed many and destroyed homes and property of many more. The report estimates about 4.1 billion were wounded in addition to the deaths, and the economic costs amounted to $1.9 trillion over that time period.

There are about 335 weather-related disasters annually, which is twice what it was in the 10 years prior to the 20-year period.

This report will underscore the UN’s assertion that the rising temperature of the oceans due to increased carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect is driving more extreme weather, and therefore there is a real cost to governments in terms of both human lives and the economy.

And it’s not just extreme storms, but droughts as well. Droughts are believed to have affected 1 billion people over the past two decades, resulting in hunger and disease, and keeping development from happening in underdeveloped areas. Heat waves are also estimated to have killed 148,000 largely in Europe, with wildfires also a risk in the United States.

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