[imagesource: Joe Raedle/Getty Images]
Not to put too fine a point on it, but 2020 hasn’t been a great year so far.
Most of the awful things that are happening are out of our control, which makes them a little harder to bear.
Unfortunately, even if we get a handle on the coronavirus, we have some way to go before the world is back on its feet, especially because scientists predict that we’ll have some natural disasters to contend with.
The World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research group, told The Guardian that 147 million people will suffer through floods annually by the end of the decade.
Damages to urban property will soar from $174bn to $712bn per year.
By 2050, “the numbers will be catastrophic,” according to the report. A total of 221 million people will be at risk, with the toll in cities costing $1.7tn yearly.
Charlie Iceland, director of water initiatives at WRI, says that when they first built the tool that detects high-risk areas, the predictions were hard to believe.
“But now we’re actually seeing this increase in magnitude of the damages in real time,” Iceland said. “We’ve never seen these types of floods before.”
Floods are getting worse because of the climate crisis, decisions to populate high-risk areas and land sinkage from the overuse of groundwater.
The worst flooding will come in south and south-east Asia, including in Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and China, where large populations are vulnerable.
The effects will be less dire in the United States, but they can still expect an increase in flooding, especially in areas near the coast.
No word on how South Africa will fare as we navigate the rest of the decade.
Now go and read something a little more cheerful, like this list of apps to keep you entertained during the lockdown.
Chin up and stay strong out there.
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