Extreme Weather Deaths Keep Dropping

Article excerpt

Despite concerns about global warming and a large increase in the number of reported storms and droughts, the world's death rate from extreme weather events was lower from 2000-10 than it has been in any decade since 1900, according to a study by Reason Foundation, Los Angeles, Calif.

The report chronicles the number of worldwide deaths caused by extreme weather events between 1900-2010 and finds global deaths caused by extreme weather events peaked in the decade running from 1920-29, when there were 241 deaths a year per 1,000,000 people in the world. From 1930-39, there were 208. From 2000-10, however, there were 5.4, which is a 98% decline in the weather-related death rate since the 1920s. Extreme weather events were responsible for just 0.7% of the world's deaths between 2000-10.

The average number of extreme weather events recorded increased from 2.5 per year in the 1920s to 8.5 in the 1940s to 350 from 2000-10. The study notes technological and telecommunication advances made it significantly easier to learn of--and respond to--weather events. Broader news coverage and an increased tendency by authorities to declare natural disaster emergencies also have contributed to the large uptick in the number of storms recorded.

The extreme weather categories studied include droughts, floods, wildfires, storms (hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, typhoons, etc. …