Royal Society report: Resilience to extreme weather

27th November 2014

Extreme weather has a huge human cost that cannot be quantified. Between 1980 and 2004 the economic cost has been estimated to be US$1.4 trillion. This shows that societies are not resilient to extreme weather today, and our analysis shows that the risk it poses is increasing.

Steps should be taken to reduce people’s exposure and vulnerability now and in the future. Governments are the main bodies with the resources, oversight and powers to do this.

Climate change will affect the frequency and severity of extreme weather in the future. If emissions of greenhouse gases continue at the current rate, extreme weather is likely to pose an increasing threat to people. Yet even if emission rates are reduced, societies will still need to adapt to climatic changes caused by past emissions. Both mitigation of climate change and adaptation are therefore vital.

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