Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 5th of January 2018 to The Sounding Line.
The endless media hype surrounding every weather event and natural disaster (the recent ‘Bomb Cyclone,’ aka winter storm, in the US Northeast comes to mind) has led to the pervasive belief that the number and severity of natural disasters around the world is increasing exponentially. Standing in contrast to that gloomy narrative is the fact that the number of deaths caused by natural disasters has actually fallen dramatically since the early 1900s, as the following chart from Our World in Data shows. While the decline in deaths doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been a decline in the number of natural disasters, it is nonetheless good news.
As Our World in Data notes about the data from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters:
“The data presented here includes all categories classified as “natural disasters” (distinguished from technological disasters, such as oil spills and industrial accidents). This includes those from drought, floods, biological epidemics, extreme weather, extreme temperature, landslides, dry mass movements, extraterrestrial impacts, wildfires, volcanic activity and earthquakes.”
By clicking ‘Change disaster category’ below the chart you can view the trend for individual types of disasters, though you will find most follow the same basic trend.
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