The Stream, May 17: Natural Disasters Could Put $158 Trillion In Assets At Risk By 2050

The Global Rundown

A combination of climate change, population growth, and expanding cities will put billions of people and trillions of dollars worth of assets at risk globally from natural disasters, a new report found. A new study added to the growing body of evidence that poor tropical countries will likely be disproportionately affected by climate change. Researchers launched an online atlas detailing Africa’s groundwater supplies. Millions of people in Yemen have lost access to clean water due to the ongoing civil war. The company proposing a natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York is appealing New York’s denial of a water permit for the project.

“Many of the poorest people in the world live in tropical latitudes, while many of the world’s wealthiest people live in mid-latitude climates. We know that low-latitude regions have much less variability in day-to-day temperatures when compared with the mid-latitudes, which means the signal of climate change emerges quite quickly, and because of this the frequency of extreme hot days increases rapidly too.” –Manoj Joshi, a senior lecturer at the University of East Anglia, on a new study led by the university that found that poor tropical developing countries will be disproportionately affected by an increase in the number of hot days due to climate change. Many of these countries are also vulnerable to stronger storms, flooding, and droughts. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

20 million people Number in Yemen who have lost access to clean water due to the ongoing civil war and a blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies. Reuters

$300 million Amount spent over the past four years on a proposed natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York. The company is appealing a decision by New York that denied it a necessary water permit. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Approximately 1.3 billion people and $158 trillion in assets will be at risk from natural disasters by 2050 due to a combination of climate change, growing populations, and expanding cities, according to a report released by the World Bank-managed Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery. Officials at the World Bank said “drastic increases in future losses” could occur if cities and coastal areas do not take natural disasters into account when planning future development. Guardian

On The Radar

An online Africa Groundwater Atlas has been launched by the British Geological Survey and the International Association of Hydrogeologists Burdon Groundwater Network for Developing Countries. The atlas includes maps and information about the aquifers of 51 African countries, including their hydrogeology, management, monitoring, climate, and land cover. International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre

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A news correspondent for Circle of Blue based out of Hawaii. She writes The Stream, Circle of Blue’s daily digest of international water news trends. Her interests include food security, ecology and the Great Lakes. Contact Codi Kozacek
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