Compared to the average over the last 30 years (1991-2020), the total frequency of global natural disasters in 2021 was 13% higher, with 81% lower in deaths, 48% less in the aﬀected population, and 82% more in direct economic losses. Global ﬂood disasters in 2021 were the most frequent, 48% more than the historic levels, causing 4,393 deaths, which was more than the death toll from other natural disasters but 35% less than the historical average of ﬂood-related deaths; the direct economic losses caused by storm disasters were the largest, reaching USD 137.7 billion, 133% more than the historical average; there were fewer strong earthquakes and their disaster losses were relatively small; the number of deaths from wildﬁres decreased, but the population aﬀected rose by 219% and the direct economic losses were 109% higher than the historic levels. Regionally, Asia has seen the highest frequency of natural disasters in 2021, followed by North America; among all continents, Asia had the largest number of deaths due to disasters, followed by North America; North America has seen the highest economic losses due to disasters, followed by Europe; compared with developed countries, developing countries were more severely aﬀected by natural disasters, mostly ﬂoods, storms, and extreme temperatures.
In 2021, deaths from natural disasters in China were at an above-average level in the world, basically consistent with the level of its economic development; the proportion of direct economic losses in GDP was at a lower-middle level, which was largely consistent with the level of its economic development. The ﬂood losses in China were higher than those from other disasters and accounted for a large proportion of the global ﬂood losses.
In 2021, China faced a complicated natural disaster situation , with extreme weather and climate events occurring frequently. The natural disasters mainly included ﬂood, strong wind and hail, drought, typhoon, earthquake, geological disasters and cold wave, while sand and dust storm, forest and grassland ﬁres and marine disasters also hit to varying degrees. On the whole, however, natural disaster situation in China was relatively moderate.
The report analyzes the characteristics of global extreme weather disasters from 2000 to 2021. During this period, annual direct economic losses from extreme disasters in Asia, America, Europe and Africa showed an increasing trend. The frequency of such disasters was far higher in Asia than on other continents, and the total losses in Asia from 2011 to 2021 were twice those of Asia from 2000 to 2010. The report also summarizes the characteristics of global climate, and the major weather and climate events in 2021, coupled with an analysis of the causes of typical major weather and climate events, including rainstorm-in- duced ﬂood, drought, tropical cyclone, heat wave and wildﬁre, cold wave and severe convection. The report calls for greater world attention to tackling increasingly frequent extreme weather and climate events, and boosting collaborative research toward that end.
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