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Extreme weather tops 2018's global threats list

Posted on Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 | Comment icon 21 comments

Extreme weather events have been on the rise in recent years. Image Credit: US Army / Zachary West
1,000 risk management experts from around the world have outlined this year's top man-made threats.
The annual survey deemed the ongoing environmental consequences of global warming, such as hurricanes and flooding, to be the single largest threat to mankind over the next 12 months.

Last year, hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused $200 billion worth of damage while record temperatures were reported across parts of Europe, Africa, South America, Russia and China.

Unsurprisingly, the risk of nuclear war with North Korea was also high up on the list with 93% of respondents predicting worsening "political or economic confrontations/frictions between major powers" and 80% referencing risks relating to "state-on-state military conflict or incursion."

Cyber-attacks were also listed as a significant concern, especially those involving the theft or release of private information from government computer systems or major online services.

"Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated," the report stated.

"But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment."

Source: USA Today | Comments (21)

Tags: Weather, Global Warming

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Doug1o29 on 19 January, 2018, 19:29
How do you figure that climate is a function of geomagnetism? Doug
Comment icon #13 Posted by Noxasa on 21 January, 2018, 20:58
No, storms in the interior continental US are not increasing in either frequency or intensity.  (  
Comment icon #14 Posted by Noxasa on 21 January, 2018, 21:36
I'm referring to ALL the models that have been around long enough to be able to do a verification of their predictive value.  ALL of them have failed. The global climate system may in fact be warming naturally.  The Earth has been warmer and cooler throughout the existence of mankind as a species.  I just don't think the data shows that catastrophe is in the making.  If climate science has shown itself to NOT BE ABLE to predict 25 or 50 year global surface temperature changes then why should we assume their current 25, 50 or 100 year temperature predictions are accurate.  Especially when there... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Doug1o29 on 21 January, 2018, 23:30
I did a paper on this in grad school.  Would you like a copy? Besides, that link is about tornados.  There are a lot more types of storms than just tornados.  If you want to know what is happening, you have to include them all.  Cherry-picking isn't allowed. Doug  
Comment icon #16 Posted by Calibeliever on 22 January, 2018, 15:24
There's a lot to unpack here so I'll start by saying it's good to be skeptical. There's no reason to take anything at face value or to believe sensational headlines designed to instill fear and get ratings. I think it's right to rail against this kind of rhetoric, but I'd also be careful not to allow yourself to fall into the same trap. Using inflammatory language like whack-o, generalizing that ALL data is wrong without providing any citation, claiming that there have been no damaging effects due to the increase of CO2 without proof, and claiming that lives have been destroyed is reverse hyst... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Socks Junior on 22 January, 2018, 16:33
He probably doesn't. But some people have explored that possibility. Courtillot et al., 2007.  
Comment icon #18 Posted by Doug1o29 on 22 January, 2018, 17:41
Maybe there really is a connection.  I think I see the Chandler Wobble in tree rings.  But how a wobble of only 150 meters or so could leave an effect in tree rings is beyond me.  So maybe there is a connection to geomagnetism. Doug
Comment icon #19 Posted by Doug1o29 on 22 January, 2018, 18:10
I dare say you've missed a few.  There are about 300 climate models, many of which have very limited uses, such as predicting water levels in a particular river (like the Arkansas and Platte, for example).  Ordinarliy, there wouldn't be a need to publish accuracy figures.  One need only run the numbers and compare them with the actual measurments, just like any statistical analysis.  As the results only have value to those working on that particular river, the result would be distribiuted by email and never get into the literature.  Unless there was something unusual about the technique that m... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Doug1o29 on 22 January, 2018, 20:03
Footnote on wind:  SAFETY.  The greatest risk around a wind farm is somebody falling from the nacel.  Everybody has safety harnesses and the like, but accidents occasionally happen.  I don't know of any wind-connected injuries in Oklahoma for the past sixteen years and that's most of wind's history here. How about oil?  Just this morning a well blew up southeast of Tulsa.  Three people with critical injuries, five missing.  There are normally about ten people on a well, so that's nearly everybody.  It's a Patterson well.  Same company had another well blow up out near Edmondson about four year... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Doug1o29 on 23 January, 2018, 14:02
There were 22 people on this well.  Apparently both day and night crews were there. Doug

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