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2021 Predictions: Climate Change Disasters

February 11, 2021 Leave a comment DRI Admin

The DRI International Future Vision Committee has released its 6th Annual Predictions Report, looking ahead to 2021 and its impact on the resilience community. Click here to download the complete report free from the DRI Library, and read on for a prediction on the continuing impact of climate change.

Prediction: Climate change leads to increased natural disasters

Natural disasters caused by climate change will cause widespread death and destruction around the world. There seems no longer any dispute that climate change is impacting current weather patterns. It is impossible to predict exactly what will occur but hot regions are getting hotter and drier, with more wildfires.

Drought is increasingly prevalent in regions such as Australia, but when it breaks, it results in excessive rainfall and severe flooding. One forecast suggests that the Southern Hemisphere is particularly prone to these trends, with a combination of La Nina weather patterns and the emergence of more tropical wet/ dry seasons in areas further south of the equator. This will create widespread flooding in the Australian Eastern States, New Zealand, and many small South Pacific islands. Conversely, in Africa, the Sahel — which forms a vital barrier between desert to the north and the savanna to the south — is in great danger of becoming totally arid.

The new U.S. Administration will participate enthusiastically and likely drive multi-national efforts to work towards a low-carbon future. Rejoining the Paris Accord is a step but major challenges remain. In the immediate future, we have to expect more natural disasters, destruction, and deaths in areas that previously were considered safe and environmentally stable. In poor countries, financial inequality, social injustice, hunger, and climate-induced immigration will increase without international action. This might not be forthcoming as richer countries deal with their own domestic pressures.

Local emergency management expertise, skills, and resources will need to be upgraded in many parts of the world to minimize damage and loss of life. We will see a higher demand for crisis management planning and training on a larger scale than before, giving rise to more specialists in the field.

Join us for the free online Resilience Excellence Summit Mar. 1-3 to continue the conversation. DRI Future Vision Committee Chair Lyndon Bird will be on hand with a panel on Mar. 2 discussing the findings of these reports and the shape of the coming year.