But Bjorn Lomborg rebuts: "Tremendously misleading. The number of billion-dollar disasters will of course increase as society gets richer. When corrected for increased wealth, the world and the US are not seeing increasing damages (but insignificantly *decreasing* damages)." - "Despite breathless climate reporting, the relative cost of global weather catastrophes 1990-2020 not increasing (actually insignificantly decreasing)."
Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: "NOAA is a great agency & contributes massively to saving life and property. It is thus so embarrassing that they dabble in bad economics for media catnip and clicks. Everything you hear about 'billion $ disasters' is wrong."
Meteorologist Anthony Watts: "New data shows the global climate-related death risk has dropped by over 99% since 1920. Despite the near constant caterwauling from climate alarmists that we are in a “climate emergency”, real-world data, release at the end of 2020 shows that climate related deaths are now approaching zero. The data spans 100 years of “global warming” back to 1920 and shows “climate related” deaths now approaching zero. Above is an update of the graph in the 2020 peer-reviewed article by Bjørn Lomborg: Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies."
Bjorn Lomborg reports: “Back in the 1920s, the death count from climate-related disasters was 485,000 on average every year. In the last full decade, 2010-2019, the average was 18,357 dead per year or 96% lower. In the first year of the new decade, 2020, the preliminary number of dead was even lower at 8,086 — 98% lower than the 1920s average.
But because the world’s population also quadrupled at the same time, the climate-related *death risk* has dropped even faster. The death risk is the probability of you dying in any one year. In the 1920s, it was 243 out of a million people that would die from climate-related disasters. In the 2010s, the risk was just 2.5 per million people — a drop of 99%. Now, in 2020, the preliminary number is 1 per million — 99.6% lower.”
Meteorologist Paul Dorian: Atlantic Hurricanes: "The Atlantic Basin experienced the most active hurricane season on record with so many named storms (30) that the Greek alphabet had to be utilized for only the second time ever, the first being 2005. In fact, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was the fifth consecutive season with above-normal activity and 12 of the 30 named storms made landfall in the contiguous US, breaking the record of nine set in 1916.
Pacific Hurricanes: "On the other hand, the Pacific hurricane season was well below normal in terms of overall activity with a total of 17 tropical storms and it was the least active year since 2010. The Pacific Ocean outweighs in importance the Atlantic Basin when it comes to global tropical activity which ends the year far below the normal levels of an important metric. ... The 2020 Pacific Ocean hurricane season was the least active since 2010 with well below the normal number of hurricanes and well below the number of hurricanes that reached “major” status of category 3 or higher (4 hurricanes, 3 “major”).
Tornadoes: "In terms of tornado activity in the US during 2020, the year will end up below-normal and, fortunately, this year has featured no EF-5 tornadoes which are the most powerful of all. ... The number of tornadoes recorded in the US by NOAA (at least on a preliminary basis) is 1245 and this is below the normal value of 1392 when compared to the mean of the base period 2005-2019. ... The 2020 US tornado season is that it featured no EF-5 tornadoes which are the most powerful of all. In fact, it has now been more than 7 years since the last EF-5 tornado struck in the US which was in Moore County, Oklahoma during May of 2013. According to NOAA, there have been a total of 36 EF-5 tornadoes in the US since 1970 with 14 of those occurring in the 1970s."
Bjorn Lomborg: Droughts: For drought, the IPCC concludes “there is low confidence in attributing changes in drought over global land areas since the mid-20th century to human influence” (IPCC 2013a, 871). Moreover, it concludes “there is low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought” with drought having “likely increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and likely decreased in central North America and northwest Australia since 1950” (IPCC 2013a, 50). The IPCC repudiated previous findings from 2007, saying our “conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts since the 1970s are no longer supported” (IPCC 2013a, 44). This was because new data showed no increased global drought (Sheffield et al., 2012; van der Schrier et al. 2013), and one study even showed a persistent decline since 1982 (Hao et al., 2014), while the number of consecutive dry days has been declining for the last 90 years (Donat et al., 2013, 2112).
Floods: The USGCRP summarizes the IPCC to say they “did not attribute changes in flooding to anthropogenic influence nor report detectable changes in flooding magnitude, duration, or frequency” (USGCRP 2017, 240).
Wildfires: While deforestation has reduced the amount of forests, it is likely that fires in forests have declined even in percentage of the remaining forest areas across the past century.
Hurricanes: The IPCC concludes that we cannot confidently attribute hurricanes to human influence: “There is low confidence in attribution of changes in tropical cyclone activity to human influence” (IPCC 2013a, 871). Indeed, globally, hurricanes are not getting more frequent: “current data sets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century” (
Sea level: Globally, over the past 30 years, rising sea levels have not resulted in more land underwater. Adding up all the coastal land lost and reclaimed, it turns out that the total coastal area has increased by more than 13,000 km² (Donchyts et al., 2016). This is perhaps most visibly the world's largest coast reclamation of the 80 km² of Palm Island and adjacent islands along the coast of Dubai, but across the world, many countries have shaped and extended their coastlines by land reclamation. Bangladesh, despite popular understanding, has net added about 480 km² of land in the face of sea level rise.
WWF International: "Transformative change is urgently needed in our productive sectors, including our food systems, forestry, fisheries, infrastructure and extractives, and in the finance sector. These transformations need to happen fast if we are to limit risks of higher restoration costs and irreversible damage, including new pandemics and species extinction. We must transform our food systems so that enough healthy and nutritious food is produced for all, within planetary boundaries."