Climate change-related extreme weather cost more than £107.4billion, killed 4,572 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more this year, as the planet’s weather becomes more turbulent in response to rising temperatures.
The fifteen most destructive events, which each caused more than £760million of damage, were identified by charity Christian Aid in a landmark report.
It came as mankind continued its march towards oblivion as the UN found carbon dioxide emissions were still rising, and the two-week Madrid climate summit broke down without agreement.
Climate change activists have paralysed the transport networks of major cities across the world this year, to bring attention to the issue, while Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has led youth protests against governments and world leaders.
Climate change-related extreme weather cost more than £107.4billion last year and killed 4,572 people, according to a landmark report by Christian Aid. The most costly event was the wildfires in California (pictured above) which ripped through the area after eight years of drought
The fires, which struck the U.S. in October, tore through the area turning trees, bushes and homes into burning charcoal
The map above shows how at least five wildfires were burning across the state in October this year, including two that are threatening Los Angeles and one which has taken hold in Sonoma County, which is part of California’s wine country
Satellite photo taken on October 10 by NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite shows typhoon Hagibis approaching Japan
As Typhoon Hagibis approaches, supermarkets and convenience stores begin to run out of essentials such as bread as people stockpile food
The aptly-titled Counting the Cost report found the Californian wildfires, that ripped through the area between October and November, were the most expensive natural disaster after wracking up a bill of £19billion following eight years of drought.
It was followed by Japan’s Typhoon Hagibis, which cost £11billion, and floods in the Midwest and South of the US, costing £9.6billion.
The charity’s report also found that the highest death toll due to extreme weather was in north India this year, where flooding killed 1,900 people.
Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa is estimated to have killed 1,300 people when it tore through the area in March, while Hurricane Dorian officially killed 673 people in North America.
More than 3.4million people were displaced by Cyclone Fani in India and Bangladesh this May, the report also said.
Floods in Australia (pictured above in Queensland) in 2019 cost £1.4billion and led to the deaths of three people in January and February this year
The tropical storm Imelda, which killed five people, hit Texas in September and saw several roads in the state flooded with water
Between March and April this year, floods in northern Iran saw damage of around 8.3 billion U.S dollars. Pictured: Flooded streets in the northern Iranian village of Agh Ghaleh
Hurricane Dorian (pictured is the destruction from Hurricane Dorian on Abaco Island, Bahamas) was the most powerful storm to hit the country since records began
A police car drives down the Virginia Dare Trail after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abacos Islands in the north of the Bahamas on September 1
An aerial view of the flooded Jamkhandi Taluk in the Belgaum district of Karnataka, India, shows the damage caused by the floods in India earlier this year
A rescuer carries an injured woman across a flooded street in China after Typhoon Lekima hit the country in August 2019
The UK did not escape extreme weather this year, with Storm Eberhard hitting the country along with Belgium and the Netherlands in early March, before moving east to hover over Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.
In Europe the storm is estimated to have cost more than £1.3billion in damage.
The cost of extreme weather events is expected to continue to rise next year, with analysis predicting severe wind storms will be more likely to hit Europe due to escalating temperatures.
The UK is set to host key climate talks in Glasgow next year, where world leaders will come under renewed pressure to do more about the risks from climate change.
Many have committed to curb temperature rises to 1.5C or 2C, under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in order to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.
Rubble lies on the street after Cyclone Idai hits the African continent and causes damage in Mozambique (pictured), Zimbabwe, and Malawi
Small boats and vessels are left anchored in the water at the Sadar Ghat Launch terminal in Dhaka, Bangladesh (pictured), after Cyclone Fani hits the Indian state of Odisha
A police officer patrols the Kamakura area and inspects a fallen pole after Typhoon Faxai hits the Kanto region in Japan
A flooded sea promenade (pictured) is seen in the town of Los Alcazares after heavy rainfall hits the southeastern Spain
Residents walk across a flooded street in Almoradi, Alicante, eastern Spain, after floods hit the European country in September
The shocking report came after the UN said carbon emissions had risen again this year and Greta Thunberg, pictured at the Madrid summit, led protests calling on world leaders to do more to tackle climate change
Protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group walk in a procession to Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on December 21
A protester from Extinction Rebellion is carried by police holding during a demonstration in Westminster, London
Dr Kat Kramer, Christian Aid’s global climate lead and report co-author, said: ‘2020 is going to be a huge year for how the world responds to the growing climate crisis.
‘We have the biggest summit since the Paris Agreement was signed five years ago taking place in Glasgow, where countries must commit to further cut their emissions in line with the 1.5C temperature limit, and boost funding for poor countries suffering from the kind of impacts seen in this report.
‘Last year, emissions continued to rise, so it’s essential that nations prepare these new and enhanced pledges for action to the Paris Agreement as soon as possible.’
Professor Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Centre at Pennsylvania State University, said: ‘If anything, 2019 saw even more profound extreme weather events around the world than last year, including wildfires from the Amazon through to the Arctic, devastating out-of-season, simultaneous wildfires in California and Australia, winter heatwaves and devastating superstorms.
‘With each day now we are seemingly reminded of the cost of climate inaction in the form of ever-threatening climate change-spiked weather extremes.’
Fifteen most extreme climate change-related weather events in 2019, according to the report
January: Argentina and Uruguay, floods – $2.5billion (£1.92 billion), five killed;
January-February: Australia, floods – $1.9billion (£.146billion) , three killed;
March: Europe, Storm Eberhard – $1-1.7billion (£769million-£1.3billion), four killed;
March: Southern Africa, Cyclone Idai – $2billion (£1.53billion), 1,300 killed;
March-June: Midwest and South US, floods – $12.5billion (£9.61billion), three killed;
March-April: Iran, floods – $8.3billion (£6.38billion), 78 killed;
May: India and Bangladesh, Cyclone Fani – $8.1billion (£6.2billion), 89 killed;
June-August: China, floods – $12billion (£6.2billion), 300 killed;
June-October: North India, floods – $10billion (£7.69billion), 1,900 killed;
August: China, Typhoon Lekima – $10billion (£7.69billion), 101 killed;
September-October: Japan, Typhoon Faxai – $5-9billion (£3.8 – £6.9billion), three killed and Hagibis – $15 billion (£11.5billion), 98 killed;
September: North America, Hurricane Dorian – $11.4billion (£8.77billion), 673 killed;
September: Spain, floods – $2.4billion (£1.84billion), seven killed;
September: Texas, US, Tropical Storm Imelda, $8billion (£6.2billion), five killed;
October-November: California, US, fires – $25billion (£19.2billion), three killed