India lost $87 bn last year due to natural calamities: WMO

What is the News?

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has released a report titled “State of the Climate in Asia report”.

What are the key findings of the State of the Climate in Asia report?

Impact of Natural Disasters: Natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and droughts have cost India around $87 billion in 2020.

India was the second most affected nation from the impact of global warming on lives and property after China, which lost $238 billion. Droughts remained the single largest extreme event in 2020 to hit these two countries.

Temperatures: Asia had its warmest year on record in 2020 with the mean temperature 1.39 °C above the 1981–2010 average. Many places suffered extreme heat, including a record of 38 degrees Celsius in Verkhoyansk in Russia, the highest known temperature anywhere within the Arctic Circle.

Cyclone Amphan: Cyclone Amphan was one of the strongest storms ever. It hit the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest straddling India and Bangladesh, displacing 2.4 million and 2.5 million people respectively.

Indian Ocean: The Indian Ocean is also warming up rapidly, along with the Pacific and the Arctic. Sea surface temperatures in and around Asia are increasing three times more than the global average, particularly in the Arabian Sea.

Sea level: Global average sea level has risen at a rate of 3.3 mm per year since the early 1990s. The North Indian Ocean and the Northwest Pacific Ocean are experiencing sea-level rise significantly higher than the global mean.

Glacier Retreat: Glacier retreat is accelerating, and it is projected that glacier mass will decrease by 20% to 40% by 2050, affecting the lives and livelihoods of about 750 million people in the region.

Food Security: The progress on food security and nutrition has also been slowing globally. In 2020, 48.8 million people in South-East Asia, 305.7 million in South Asia and 42.3 million in West Asia were undernourished. 

Source: This post is based on the article “India lost $87 bn last year due to natural calamities: WMO” published in Livemint on 27th October 2021.

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