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  • · The report comes before an UN-led summit on climate change named COP26, which is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland
  • · China maintains the top position in AAL, whereas, India seconds it
  • · As per the reports, natural calamities in South Asia and East Asia has led to massive displacement in 2020

On Tuesday, a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) titled “State of Climate in Asia”, claimed that India lost $87 billion in the previous year due to natural disasters. The disasters leading to this loss, according to the reports, were tropical cyclones, floods, and droughts. This comes before an UN-led summit on climate change named COP26, which is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

The WMO referred to the estimates of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and stated that the average annual loss (AAL) resulting from the disasters that struck India was seven hundred billion dollars. China stands in the highest position with a loss of $238 billion, then comes India with an annual loss of $83 billion and is followed by Japan. According to the reports, the highest AAL had their connections to drought.

The report further emphasizes the issue of climate change in Asia and states that last year was the warmest in the continent with mean temperature 1.39 degrees above the 1981-2010 average. The WMO report says that the heat extreme in Russia’s Verkhoyansk was 38 degrees Celsius, which is the highest in the north of the Arctic Circle. A significant number of tropical cyclones have led to calamities in various countries last year.

Amphan, a severe cyclone that hit the Sundarbans across India and Bangladesh last year in the month of May, has displaced at least 2.4 million people in India and 2.5 million in Bangladesh. Adding up to this, the densely populated areas in South Asia and East Asia have faced monsoons and floods as well. A good number of people were displaced because of the calamities in India, China, Bangladesh, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Nepal in 2020.

A rise in the sea surface temperature was recorded last year in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. In the Arabian Sea, the sea surface temperature rises above the global average, claimed the reports. Speaking of undernourishment, the report has stated that there has been a gradual slowdown in the progress of food security and nutrition. According to the records, 48.8 million people in Southeast Asia, 305.7 million people in South Asia and 42.3 million in West Asia have been undernourished in 2020.

The report said, “The true impact of Covid-19 on food security and nutrition are yet to be established. But compared with 2019, the number of undernourished people in 2020 increased 6% in Southeast Asia and West Asia and by 20% in South Asia. Climate-related disasters compounded the problem.”

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