The figure above shows disaster losses as tracked by Munich re from 1900 to 2018, based on an update published earlier this week (here). The update allows me to add another year to the data reported in this paper:
Pielke, R. (2018). Tracking progress on the economic costs of disasters under the indicators of the sustainable development goals. Environmental Hazards, 1-6.
The graphs below show losses as a percentage of global GDP from 1990 to 2018, for all catastrophes (top) and those that are weather/climate related (bottom)
- Overall losses were at about the 1990-2017 average ($160b vs $163b)
- Weather/Climate losses were above the 1990-2017 average ($147B vs $129B)
- Overall losses are well below the 1990-2017 average (0.19% vs 0.28%)
- Weather/Climate losses are slightly below 1990-2017 average (0.18% vs 0.22)
- 2018 saw substantial disasters with large costs.
- However, in terms of economic damage it was a fairly typical year in historical context.
- 2018 contributes to the trend (1990-2018) of disaster losses decreasing as a proportion of global GDP.
This is good news.