If you only read one thing this week…


The impacts of climate change on the risk of natural disasters by ifyouonlyreadonethingthisweek
August 10, 2006, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Articles, Environment, If you only have 15 mins

The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management (AKA Disasters, published on behalf of the leading British thinktank the Overseas Development Institute) features a climate change focus in their March 2006 issue. One of the more interesting articles is Maarten K. van Aalst’s ‘impacts of climate change on the risk of natural disasters’.

The abstract is given below, you can download the free pdf here. It’s worth checking out their website, where you can subscribe to the journal, or read a number of free articles.Human emissions of greenhouse gases are already changing our climate. This paper provides an overview of the relation between climate change and weather extremes, and examines three specific cases where recent acute events have stimulated debate on the potential role of climate change: the European heatwave of 2003; the risk of inland flooding, such as recently in Central Europe and Great Britain; and the harsh Atlantic hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005. Furthermore, it briefly assesses the relation between climate change and El Niño, and the potential of abrupt climate change. Several trends in weather extremes are sufficiently clear to inform risk reduction efforts. In many instances, however, the potential increases in extreme events due to climate change come on top of alarming rises in vulnerability. Hence, the additional risks due to climate change should not be analysed or treated in isolation, but instead integrated into broader efforts to reduce the risk of natural disasters.

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