21st Century Global Disasters


By Paul Homewood

Roger Pielke Jr on disaster trends:

A new peer-reviewed paper out this week by Alimonti and Mariani asks whether global disasters have increased. Their answer is that they have not (and if the name sounds familiar, it is the same Alimonti whose paper is being improperly retracted — more fresh info on that in the coming days).

As I read their paper today I noticed that the time series they reported from the EM-DAT database looked a bit different than that I had last explored and presented here at THB late last year. So today I downloaded the most recent data from EM-DAT, and indeed there has been some changes to the most recent three years, presumably due to late entries into the database (however I will enquire as all post-hoc dataset updates should be documented). EM-DAT has been funded since the late 1990s by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Below is the updated time series of global hydrological, climatological and meteorological disasters in the EM-DAT database, along with the linear trend, over the period 2000 to 2022.

Full post here.

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Tom Halla
August 13, 2023 6:08 pm

My only issue would be the short period of the database, but that is what it is.

Reply to  Tom Halla
August 13, 2023 6:16 pm

True however it is the last 20 years is where much of the screaming about media-based disasters stories have showed up riling people up with their misleading claims and big lies that gets some people depressed when it isn’t happening beyond the usual fare based on the data.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Sunsettommy
August 14, 2023 8:10 am

Scientific data contained in UN IPCC reports show the same for long-term extreme weather trends. The Leftist/Socialist/Marxist leaders in the UN and UN IPCC lie in politicized summaries and in public announcements by telling the world they are getting worse.

August 13, 2023 6:54 pm

Disasters are up an unequivocal 30% since 2018 ! By 2100 it will be never ending total disaster !


Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 13, 2023 7:14 pm

Disasters are up an unequivocal 30% since 2018 !”

The next headline…..

Climate experts say ”there is no doubt whatsoever that climate change-induced natural disasters are on a steep upward trend over the last couple of hours”…..

August 13, 2023 7:32 pm

I think I’ve read enough now about current and past impropriety in science to rather have lost confidence in its ability to discover truth. Not because science is incapable but because humans are fallible and biased, and when the checking institutions aren’t functioning as they should the chance of this bias permeating society is much greater. Yet we increasingly rely on science as a source of “truth”, often without an appropriate disclaimer. I can’t remember a single time discussing the shortcomings of science with examples until fairly late in university. Science can be a great and wonderful thing that has brought humanity a lot of prosperity but has also been used at various times to justify horrendous acts. It seems pretty clear the publisher didn’t find fault with the paper, but unfortunately caved to pressure. Hopefully more publishers can have courage and avoid this in the future. How frail must your argument be if you can’t even have a debate on the topic?!

Peta of Newark
Reply to  Jonny5
August 13, 2023 10:02 pm

Yes, much of what passes for science is trivia, minutia and irrelevance

What they’re significantly doing is the tactic that insurance sales-people use.

  • They claim that so-and-so whatever climate calamities are increasing
  • Folks will be witness to the media and the huuuuge amount of reporting that previously never happened creates an impression that that is true
  • The climate salesperson will thus be able to point to some specific event (e.g. Hawaii right now) and assert that such a thing has ‘never happened before inside living memory
  • This is possibly true but everyone’s idea of ‘living memory’ is different and if the event was a ‘non-event’ will be soon forgotten about
  • But thanks to technology these non-events can be dredged back up in crystal clear 3D sound & vision – almost like they happened yesterday

Climate Insurance Salesperson then moves for the kill and asserts:
“If you don’t do something, and do it now now now: you will be next”

it is lies, junk, rampant exageration and fear-mongering on an epic scale, just like the GHGE itself, and should be marked down as Terrorism
Because that’s what it is and is and in all probability is where climate science and the media learned the method

Dave Fair
Reply to  Jonny5
August 14, 2023 8:34 am

You will notice that the ubiquitous Michael E. Mann (Alfred E. Newman) of Hocky Stick fame jumped right in there viciously attacking the report writers personally. Ever since the Leftist/Socialist/Marxist political heads of the UN IPCC elevated him and his Hockey Stick into stardom by their 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report in order to seal the deal on the Kyoto Protocols by scaring the hell out of the world, Mann has been the ring-leader of the rabid mobs attacking anything and everybody even remotely attempting to perform real climate science. I hope there is a special place in history “hell” for him and other liars like James Hansen.

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 14, 2023 9:39 am

Yes, here’s the A-hole Mann’s quote on the retracted paper:

Michael Mann was scathing and personal in his comments:

“another example of scientists from totally unrelated fields coming in and naively applying inappropriate methods to data they don’t understand. Either the consensus of the world’s climate experts that climate change is causing a very clear increase in many types of weather extremes is wrong, or a couple of nuclear physics dudes in Italy are wrong.”

What a disgusting POS this creep is.

I haven’t even read it all in detail, but I’m going with the couple of nuclear physics dudes being right (you don’t have to be Einstein to know that the climate science frauds are frauds). Climate experts, you’re having a laugh douchebag.

Reply to  philincalifornia
August 14, 2023 4:03 pm

Basically, Climate scientists have government jobs, and a bias to maintaining their paycheck, plus to have some sense of fulfillment, they insist that their work is very valuable and insist that ignoring their warnings of a hellish future by the general population is a mistake.

In fact it should be easy to recognize this all as nearly fact free supposition. If the climate was getting colder, they would simply be pushing for more study of that urgent phenomenon, and what the world needs to do to overcome that problem.

They are sheisters who don’t even recognize their own complicity in folly. No different than the enlightened medieval clergy who looked for autistic girls to burn as witches.

Rod Evans
August 13, 2023 11:40 pm

When data shows a steady state exists and that steady state is considered too unhelpful to be allowed and is thus taken down or retracted, when that happens you know we have arrived at a dangerous place for civilisation.
I have no doubt, the BBC are at this very moment working on an Autumn series voiced over by David Attenborough (the tumbling walrus guy) telling its viewers how 2023 is proof positive we have to stop Man Made Climate Change.
‘The Crisis has Arrived’
Pictures of Hawaii, and the Mediterranean on fire will be juxta positioned with China’s and Scandinavian floods to ram the message of doom, home.
I could be wrong. They might just decide to be honest and talk about sensible controls needed to avoid building up life threatening risks in common wild fire areas. They might contextualise the floods putting them in their historic placement.
They could do that….let us see.

Reply to  Rod Evans
August 14, 2023 2:10 am

We can only hope that the BBC editors suffer some climate related remorse with their endless negative propaganda on climate matters with zero positive predictions for the future.
With no balance on this subject, the scientific truth is entirely lost and the public remains confused and ignorant, what a disgrace for a once hallowed and trusted broadcaster.

August 13, 2023 11:41 pm

Michael Mann up to his old tricks….

Reply to  strativarius
August 14, 2023 9:13 pm

The guy who should have his entire pseudoscientific career retracted calling for a peer-reviewed and accepted paper to be retracted.

As Maximus said “The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.”

August 14, 2023 3:01 am

“21st Century Global Disasters”
I have consider carefully, but may be wrong, that the biggest non document 21st Century Global Disasters are all political and caused by the political inept power grabbing politicians and their followers as well as the wimp media.
Most of the global hydrological, climatological and meteorological disasters are caused by these inept followers of the Climate Change rantings, which are, generate by poorly constructed models and gross incompetence.
These people are also responsible for much of the damage because they don’t care.

Reply to  nhasys
August 14, 2023 4:33 am

One thing they – especially hard up local councils etc – have learned is rewilding costs nothing. You just let nature get on with it.

A top horticulturalist speaks…

Alan Titchmarsh has told a House of Lords investigation into rewilding that the practice is “catastrophic” for biodiversity and is an “ill-considered trend”.

…the Love Your Garden host told peers at a horticultural sector committee inquiry that gardens and parks with a greater variety of plants can give wildlife more sustenance for a longer period of time, compared to a rewilded garden.

“Domestic gardens and well-planted parks offer an opportunity to all forms of wildlife – be they birds seeking nesting sites in hedges, berried plants that provide winter food, or shrubs that offer shelter to mammals.

“Domestic gardens, with their greater plant diversity, offer sustenance and shelter to wildlife from March through November. Nine months of nourishment. A rewilded garden will offer nothing but straw and hay from August to March. A four-month flowering season is the norm.”

He said that while it is essential to ensure the countryside’s native trees, shrubs, plants and flowers are protected, domestic gardeners should not be pressured into rewilding their home spaces.

Reply to  strativarius
August 14, 2023 12:27 pm

Titchmarsh appears to be saying that we can do nature better than nature…

August 14, 2023 4:57 am

As much as this representation seems to refute the warmunists’ yammering about climate change, as magnified in the mainstream media, it is not a valid statistical analysis. We should not humor the warmunists by following their lead

Statistics are only meaningful if comparing likes for likes, not apples and oranges … the assumption in any valid statistical analysis is that the data considered are representative of the same population of events.

Combining “global disasters” as if they represent a single population, such as cyclonic storms, droughts, floods, wildfires, etc. is simply BS.

Besides, what constitutes a “disaster” is entirely due to damages suffered by human populations, not natural phenomena. A Cat 5 cyclone in the middle of an ocean is not a disaster, while the exact same storm hitting a populated coastline is a disaster. Same storm, different circumstances. Ditto with wildfires, droughts, floods, etc.

The only appropriate measure of events from a single population is to measure the physical parameters. Such as wind energy expended by individual storms per year.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Duane
August 14, 2023 8:33 am

I seem to recall that awhile ago they tweaked tornado classifications to include damage done along with the actual strength of the tornado.
I could be wrong but I don’t think so.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 14, 2023 4:32 pm

I think it was when they added the “E” to, say, what used to be just an F3 tornado?
Corrections welcome. Much of what I’ve learned on WUWT is when someone corrected this “Mr. Layman”‘s misunderstanding of something.
I.E. In a past post about venomous spiders (or maybe the comments just drifted there?), I mentioned that the most venomous spiders in the world were the “Daddy Long Legs’ but their fangs were to short to pose a threat to humans. (Heard and accepted that when I was a kid.) Someone who studies them respectably corrected that misconception. I didn’t accept it at face value. I checked and learned that most called that aren’t actually spiders and they don’t even have venom sacks!

Dave Fair
Reply to  Duane
August 14, 2023 8:52 am

Duane, each individual extreme weather phenomena is represented by its own statistical properties (wind energy, etc.) in the overall historical data set. That data is applied to prior and existing human populations and infrastructure at the time of the individual event to arrive at comparable damage assessments over time. Comparing records of the properties of extreme events with the normalized damage assessments tends to cross-validate both; the strength of storms corresponds over time to normalized damages.

So, yes, the physical parameters of each extreme weather event is recorded. Please look at the work of Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. and others in the field of disaster normalization.

Reply to  Dave Fair
August 14, 2023 11:28 am

Then my point holds – you cannot combine data unrelated populations. One can compare cyclonic storm events in terms of “ACE” – accumulated cyclonic energy – but the analysis above included droughts, wildfires, floods, cyclones that have all been blamed by warmunists as the effects of “climate change” – but data from all those different types of events do not represent a single population of “catastrophe” because they have no commonalities whatsoever. They are not data describing a single population of “catastrophes” as there is no such thing to begin with, as all catastrophies are entirely dependent on non climate related conditions, such as where on the face of the earth the catastrophe takes place (middle of the Atlantic Ocean, for instance, instead of Fort Myers Beach, Florida) .. and how much development has taken place in the affected area, which also has nothing to do with climate-induced conditions.

It’s apples and oranges, jet fighters and orangutans. What is the average of a jet fighter and an orangutan? These kinds of data summaries are just as ridiculous.

Philip CM
August 14, 2023 5:47 am

This is a disaster! …

for the alarmists.

Philip CM
Reply to  Philip CM
August 14, 2023 6:08 am

As a side note. Knowledgable people outside of accepted science, seem to be spending more and more time correcting the accepted science.
Back in the day, self correction was something every branch of science performed with some rigor.
The current trend of auto consensus has destroyed the fundamentals of the natural argumentative epistemology of “science”. Accept or be cancelled is the new improved science. 😡

Reply to  Philip CM
August 14, 2023 7:39 am

That isn’t science, it’s a religion

Philip CM
Reply to  strativarius
August 14, 2023 9:57 am

Or, furthering a well paying, previously proven grift, er, employment opportunity. 😉

August 14, 2023 6:13 am

I do hope they learn to spell METEOROLOGICAL before they go much further.

Philip CM
August 14, 2023 6:43 am

Questioning the validity of using ChatGPT.

Question: Are climate disasters on the increase since 2000?

ChatGPT: Yes, there has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters since 2000, including events like hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and heatwaves. This trend is often attributed to the effects of climate change, which can exacerbate extreme weather events.

Artificial Intelligence?

You be the judge.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Philip CM
August 14, 2023 8:58 am

Since that ChatGPT exchange contradicts accepted data it is more appropriately called PropagandaGPT.

Would it do any good to ask ChatGPT where it got its data?

Philip CM
Reply to  Dave Fair
August 14, 2023 10:06 am

I’ve only been playing with it for a couple of weeks now. On one occasion I found a reply from ChatGPT to come straight out of Wikipedia, verbatim. I’ve had it contradict itself by asking the same question multiple ways in a single thread. And I’ve also noticed a bias in the social material. It’s very good with technical data and things like recipes, but the social…. may as well go directly to MSNBC’s homepage.

I did ask it a similar question and ChatGPT said that its data base has not been updated since October 2021. So historical comparisons are near impossible for it to manage. Which I believe is much of its inability to do more on these types of questions than pull up the top tear Google algorithm bias.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Philip CM
August 14, 2023 10:22 am

Thanks, Philip. Caveat Emptor, as ever.

Reply to  Philip CM
August 14, 2023 12:59 pm

It’s very good with technical data and things like recipes

but not programming. half of what it produces is wrong.

August 14, 2023 8:44 am

Paul using the definition of disaster from an earlier article (Disasters are unforeseen…).

Weather events which are tracked for some amount of time are hardly fit to be called disasters. Deadly, yes. Costly, yes. Heartbreaking, of course. But if definitions are to mean anything then a hurricane that is tracked for ten days falls outside the disaster realm.

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