One of the impacts of climate change is the increase in number and severity of extreme weather events. While it is difficult to directly link a single episode to climate change, observed trends, theoretical understanding of the climate system and numerical modeling demonstrate that global warming is increasing the risk of these types of events today. Indeed, rising temperatures, increases in the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere and changes in atmospheric circulation directly influence heat waves and extreme precipitation events. The statistical trend shows that the number and intensity of extreme events has been increasing in recent years.
The economic and social impacts are huge. According to FAO, natural disasters caused about USD 1500 billion damages in 10 years and killed 1.5 million people. The numbers are rising: now, about USD 250-300 billion damages are caused each year.
The most impacted areas are in the global South. According to German Watch, of the ten most affected countries between 1995 and 2014, nine were in the low income or lower-middle income group.