Severe Weather Events: Counting the Cost

Dangerous climate breakdown, We need to cut emissions in half by 2030

The phrase “severe weather” is defined as a “dangerous meteorological phenomena with the potential to cause damage, serious social disruption, or loss of human life.” This phenomenon is most often caused by or as a result of, the consequences of climate change, especially global warming.

Consequently, it is logical to assume that every occurrence of these harsh, dangerous weather events like tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical storms has a cost attached to it. Furthermore, as the number and severity of severe weather events are set to increase across the globe, the collective price will increase exponentially.

Why it is necessary to count the cost

Thus, it makes sense that it is vital to evaluate the cost each one of these severe weather events each time one occurs.


There are many reasons why it is vital to “count the cost” as it were. At this juncture, it is imperative to note that the cost of a tornado, hurricane, tropical storm, or any other catastrophe caused by global warming, is not only economic. It includes the loss of life, loss of livelihood, and the loss of accommodation. Thus, attaching a financial value to each disaster is merely a quantitative and straightforward way to attach a “price tag” to the event.

And it allows climate change scientists to evaluate the consequences of each case against the same benchmarks. Because, the ultimate goal of the climate scientist is to determine the physical, economic, and geographic consequences of climate change brought on by global warming for many reasons.

Suffice to say the “why” always needs to be asked and answered. Therefore, we shall assume for the sake of this article, that every statement made has a “why question” attached to it. This will prevent the repetitive nature of having to ask the “why” question after each point has been made.

Unfortunately, it is vital to assume that these harsh, dangerous events are here to stay, for now. However, this is not a reason not to work hard to reverse the fact that the climate is changing due to the after-effects of global warming and the “greenhouse effect.” Government and industry must work hard to reverse and reduce the effects caused by the current climate emergency.

Finally, the fundamental rationale behind the need to measure the damage and devastation caused by each severe weather event is as follows:

Accurate forecasting

Forecasting allows governments to develop a comprehensive policy to prevent the loss of life. For example, early warning systems provide the local, regional, and national governmental organizations the opportunity to evacuate citizens living in the forecasted path of the hurricane, tornado, or tropical storm.

Thus, the study of the causes and consequences of earlier events will allow scientists to build better predictive analytical models. This, in turn, will provide the requisite information to communities situated in the event’s path; thereby, allowing them to evacuate timeously without the loss of life.

However, it stands to reason that there will always be an inevitable loss, irrespective of the forecasting models’ accuracy. It is one thing to mitigate the damage caused by the disaster. However; prevention needs to be the primary goal.

When all aspects of the looming disaster are considered, it is a relatively simple matter to physically remove people and livestock from the potential disaster’s path. It is not possible to transport non-movable assets like houses and their contents as well as agricultural crops and machinery. And the loss of these aspects will always carry a cost to the people living in the path of the severe weather event.

Unfortunately, people living in third-world communities seem to be affected more than residents of first-world countries. This fact is primarily because third-world countries traditionally have less infrastructure and finances to move large numbers of people quickly and safely. Worst case scenario, some states do not have the wherewithal to implement early warning systems. The time that residents know there is extremely bad weather on its way is when it strikes the communities living in its path.

Scientific backing

Studies using accepted methodologies that measure the consequences of severe weather events like tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, droughts, and floods will provide concrete evidence; thereby, allowing proponents for climate change to argue successfully why the world’s governments must ensure that humankind’s carbon footprint is reduced. Without this concrete evidence, there will always be no impetus to force the necessary change.

Final thoughts

The undisputable fact is that government and non-government organisations, industry, and communities need to do their utmost to reduce global warming through reducing harmful emissions and greenhouse gasses. Unfortunately, this will take time; thus, providing the raison d’etre for putting early warning measures in place to evacuate as many people as possible before the disaster strikes.

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Leigh Van Der Veen

Leigh is a native English speaker and a skilled technical and content writer with a passion for the English language. She has completed English language and literature studies at a tertiary level which allows her to deliver well-researched, expertly crafted, authoritative, quality content.

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