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The climate, the damage caused by natural disasters multiplied in the last 50 years
IN 1994, two days of rains intense have devastated the Piedmont region, causing the overflow of the Po and the Tanaro, the seventy victims, and about nine billion lire of damage. The economic impact of the most devastating floods that occurred in Italy in the Seventies, the firm, instead, to the two billion lire. Estimates that do not take into account certain factors - for example, inflation -, but they give an idea of how the costs of the damage caused by natural catastrophes have grown exponentially in the last fifty years. A tendency is captured by a new study published in Pnas and carried out by the Scuola Superiore Sant'anna of Pisa, together with his colleagues at the Pennsylvania State University, in the United States.

The research analyzed data related to the damage caused by disasters occurred in the world between 1960 and 2014. But, says Matthew Coronese , the first author of the study and a phd candidate in economics at Scuola Superiore Sant'anna of Pisa, "we have taken into account only those extreme events linked in the scientific literature of climate change, such as storms, hurricanes, heat waves, droughts, fires and landslides. While we have excluded other, for example the earthquakes". The results show that the economic impact of this type of disaster, when a particularly nefarious (among the top 1% of the most damaging), is increased by about twenty times.

"To be more concrete, a single event of this rarity in 1970 caused about $ 500 million in damages, while in 2010 the losses were already up to ten billion dollars - continues Coronese -. Of course, the increase is in part due to the growth of population and of wealth potentially destructible, for example buildings. But, once taken into account these factors, the economic impact of extreme events is, however, doubled. More precisely, we estimate that, each year, a catastrophic event (between 1% of the most damaging) costs about $ 26 million more than in the previous year. The whole net of increases attributable to the evolution of income, population and prices."

another interesting fact that emerges from the analysis relates to the geographical areas in which the account presented by mother nature in the salt at a faster pace, i.e. the areas of temperate climate that, until now, were historically less affected by extreme events, such as Europe. Scientists emphasize that the new research "does not examine to what extent this increase is attributable directly to climate change," and that a link requires further study "for which they needed additional data and more precise". Still, "there are no more doubts on the fact that an Earth warmer kinds of events more extreme, and, therefore, potentially more disastrous," says Sandro Carniel , an oceanographer and director of the research department of the Centre, NATO CMRE, La Spezia, not involved in the new analysis. "It happens with hurricanes of the Atlantic, which from the sea is always warmer and draw more energy to their careers to destructive, but it also happens in the Mediterranean".

In 2018, a research signed Enea-Cnr has demonstrated that, due to a rise in the surface temperature of the water due to global warming, in the Italian seas, it is increasingly likely the occurrence of waterspouts and tornadoes intense. Not often now speak of the Medicane, that is, tropical cyclones of the mediterranean. "From the thermodynamic point of view things are clear: it is how to increase the fire under a pot of salted water, the water cycle which follows is accelerated and discharged at a higher energy," says Carniel.

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