Every year, the Global Climate Risk Index analyzes the impacts of extreme weather events and the associated socio-economic data. Keep reading, here is the list of top 10 countries most affected by climate change according to the Global Climate Germanwatch Risk Index 2020.
Millions of people around the world suffer in some way from the consequences of climate change. The increasingly frequent extreme meteorological phenomena such as heatwaves, droughts, or floods cause a deterioration in water quality and even threaten the availability of water resources. In some areas, changes in ocean conditions have reduced fishery resources, and, on the other hand, the increase in temperature in temperate zones favors the spread of certain diseases that were previously restricted to tropical areas.
The German Germanwatch observatory publishes each year its Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) to assess which countries have been most affected by extreme weather events. It is a useful tool to help understand the socioeconomic impacts related to climate change and identify the greatest vulnerabilities to it, but, as its creators warn, it does not imply a complete classification system.
For example, the Global Climate Risk Index does not take into account aspects such as rising sea levels, melting glaciers, or acidifying the oceans. Furthermore, it is based on past data, and cannot be used to make projections about what will happen in the future, but should be understood as a warning to take measures to adapt to climate change.
“The data only reflects the direct impacts – direct losses and deaths – of extreme weather events, while, for example, heatwaves, which are frequent in African countries, often produce much stronger indirect impacts – for example, as a result of droughts and food shortages. Finally, the index does not include the total number of people affected -in addition to the dead- since the comparability of said data is very limited, “explains the report.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2020, in 2018 the countries most affected by climate change were Japan, the Philippines, and Germany, and heat waves were the main causes of the damage. Furthermore, between 1999 and 2018, the most affected by extreme weather events were Puerto Rico, Myanmar, and Haiti. Between 1999 and 2018, 495,000 people died in total as a direct consequence of more than 12,000 extreme weather events.
Top 10 countries most affected by climate change 2020
In 2018, Japan was affected by three extreme weather events. In July there was an episode of torrential rains that caused severe flooding and earthworks. Later, a strong heatwave caused 138 deaths and thousands of hospitalizations. Lastly, Typhoon Jebi was the most intense tropical cyclone that suffered in Japan in the last 25 years.
The Philippines was the second country most affected by climate change in 2018, mainly due to a category 5 typhoon that affected more than 250,000 people across the country.
During the summer of 2018, Germany suffered the hottest period ever recorded which, coupled with a severe drought, and caused significant losses in agriculture.
In 2018 Madagascar suffered two cyclones, which together forced 70,000 people to flee their homes in search of a safe haven.
In 2018, India experienced one of its worst monsoon seasons, and the state of Kerala was especially affected. In addition, two cyclones hit the east coast of the country at the end of the year and caused significant material and personal damage.
6. Sri Lanka
The monsoon rains also caused serious damage in Sri Lanka, causing the least 24 dead, more than 170 000 people affected in some way and almost 6,000 displaced persons.
Like other East African countries, Kenya especially suffered from seasonal rains in 2018, experiencing almost double the normal rainfall during the rainy season. The overflow of several rivers affected numerous areas of the country.
Also in Rwanda, heavy rains caused numerous floods with serious material and personal effects. Another consequence was an epidemic of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus.
During 2018, Canada suffered the effects of extreme temperatures, both from cold – down to -48.2 ° C at the beginning of the year – and from heat – in April, high temperatures melted the snow prematurely, causing serious floods-. In addition, the worst forest fire season ever recorded was experienced.
In Fiji, three strong cyclones were registered between February and April, affecting around 150,000 people.