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Sunday 22 September 2019

'Climate change killed thousands this year'

  

Climate chaos: Rescuers search debris after Hurricane Michael. Picture: AP
Climate chaos: Rescuers search debris after Hurricane Michael. Picture: AP

Emily Beament

Extreme floods, droughts, wildfires and storms linked to climate change cost thousands of lives and billions of pounds this year, a report has warned.

Among the most expensive disasters to hit the world this year were Hurricanes Florence and Michael, which struck the US and parts of Central America and the Caribbean, the report from Christian Aid said.

There were also heatwaves and drought in Europe, where record temperatures in the UK were made 30 times more likely by climate change, according to the Met Office, which caused wildfires and cost lives.

Kerala, India, was hit by the worst floods for more than 80 years, Japan had a summer of extremes, and California suffered wildfires including the Camp Fire which was the state's deadliest ever.

Experts warn the unprecedented extremes "are the face of climate change" and called for rapid cuts to carbon emissions to prevent increasingly destructive weather.

The report by Christian Aid, 'Counting the Cost: a year of climate breakdown', identifies 10 of the most destructive droughts, floods, fires, typhoons and hurricanes in 2018, all of which it said caused damage of more than €879m.

All of the disasters are linked with climate change caused by humans, the report argues.

Irish Independent

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