Climate prediction study reveals a better way to prepare for natural disasters

Tackling the disproportionate impact of disasters on women

The Philippines is the most susceptible country in the world to climate change hazards and ranks third highest in exposure to disaster risks, according to the Global Peace Index 2019 and the World Risk Report 2018, respectively. This isn’t hard to imagine given the recent eruption of Taal Volcano, the successive destructive earthquakes in Mindanao, and the frequent onslaught of typhoons that trigger floods and landslides.

Disasters are not new to us, but what many fail to realize is that women are worse off during disasters compared to men. In fact, a report by Plan International in 2013 found that women and children are 14 times more likely to die in a disaster compared to men, and prevailing traditional gender roles seem to be the culprit. (READ: How disasters affect women)

Women and girls are traditionally in charge of care work such as cooking, cleaning, and doing the laundry, which places them inside the house for the majority of the time. When landslides, earthquakes, and floods strike, women and girls are put at risk of being trapped inside the house…


Climate prediction study reveals a better way to prepare for natural disasters

Weather-wise, 2019 was a crazy way to end a decade. Fires spread through much of southeast Australia, fuelled by dry vegetation from the ongoing drought and fanned by hot, windy fire weather.

As a result of climate change and a warming planet, natural disasters like hurricanes and floods are an increasing threat to humans throughout the world.

But new research linking climate change to the increase in extreme weather events may help scientists better predict the future of such cataclysmic events — and better protect us from their effects. Scientists have long known that climate change goes hand-in-hand with increased extreme weather events, but they often stop short of attributing a specific event to global warming. This new study could change that.

Climate change is behind the uptick in events like heat waves, floods, and wildfires, the study shows. “We know that these are increasing in frequency and intensity. We also know that global warming is happening,” says climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, the study’s author, in a video explaining the research.

But finding evidence that global warming is causing specific events has eluded scientists in the past, Diffenbaugh says: “By their very nature, these individual events are difficult to verify.” In the new study, Diffenbaugh looked at past predictions of weather events, stacking them against what actually happened. Together, the findings not only show that scientists likely underestimated the effects of global warming on extreme weather, but also a path toward better predicting future natural disasters…



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