ABSTRACT

Climate change not only alters average weather conditions, but it will also lead to more frequent and more severe natural shocks. Hurricanes are likely to become more intense, as are droughts and floods associated with El Niño events (see Table 6.1, and for more information see Emanuel 2005; IPCC Working Group 1 2001; Tren-berth 2005). Intense precipitation events will most likely occur more often, causing increased soil erosion and damage due to flood, landslide, avalanche and mudslides (IPCC Working Group 1 2001). Those who are least able to cope will unfortunately have to bear most of the burden: 85% of people exposed to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and droughts live in countries with medium or low levels of human development (UNDP 2008), and natural catastrophes between 1985 and 1999 resulted in losses of 13.4% of the gross domestic product in developing countries, compared to only 2.5% in industrialised countries (Munich Re 2006).