Weather Disasters as Proportion of Global GDP: 1990-2017

By Paul Homewood

 

A reminder from Roger Pielke Jr that weather disasters as a proportion of GDP continues to trend downwards, despite the spike in 2017, largely as a consequence of Hurricane Harvey.

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The figure above shows the annual costs of weather disasters (data from Munich Re) as a proportion of global GDP (data from the UN), from 1990 to 2017.

Takeaways:

  • 2017 ranks 2nd to 2005;
  • The dataset is dominated by US hurricanes (accounting for about 70% of losses);
  • The trend from 1990 to 2017 is downward;
  • Mean and median are both 0.24%;
  • 6 of past 10 years have been below average;

The most important caveat: don’t use disasters to argue about trends in climate. Use climate data. Duh. (Pielke 2015 below has an accessible summary of IPCC conclusions on trends in weather extremes. See also IPCC SREX and AR5 .) Trends in the incidence of extreme weather help to explain this graph as the world has experienced a long stretch of good fortune (see Pielke 2017, linked below).

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via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT

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January 5, 2018 at 06:06AM

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