16 November 2022.
State of the Climate in Asia 2021 was released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) at the COP27 in Egypt.
What are the key findings of the report?
- Economic losses caused by drought, floods and landslides has surged in Asia, resulting in a total of 35.6 billion USD worth of economic damages.
- Over 48.3 million people were directly impacted by these natural hazards.
- There were more than 100 natural hazard events in Asia last year. Of these, 80 per cent were floods and storm events. This resulted in around 4,000 deaths, with flooding accounting for 80 per cent of the deaths.
- Floods caused the highest number of deaths and economic damage. Drought affected highest number of people in the region.
- In 2021, China witnessed the highest economic loss in Asia. It lost 18.4 billion USD because of extreme weather conditions.
- The second highest loss was experienced by India, with it losing 3.2 billion USD.
- Flooding caused the highest economic loss in China (18.4 billion USD), followed by India (3.2 billion USD) and Thailand (0.6 billion USD).
- Storms also caused major economic losses in India (4.4 billion USD), China (3 billion USD) and Japan (2 billion USD).
- Climate crisis is exacerbating food insecurity and poverty and is causing major hurdles for the world’s progress towards sustainable development.
- Water insecurity is also expected to get worse. High Mountain Asia, which hosts the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, has the largest volume of ice outside the polar region. The glaciers in this region is the most vital freshwater source for world’s most densely populated region. The exceptionally warm and dry weather conditions in 2021 have accelerated glacier retreat in the region. Water related extremes is said to be most important hazard in Asia.
- According to the report, compared to the average in the past 20 years, economic losses caused by various types of disasters are increasing. Drought-led economic damages has increased by 63 per cent, flood-caused economic damages surged by 23 per cent and landslide-led economic losses has risen by 147 per cent.