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Extreme weather warnings at UN climate meeting

Marrakesh, Morocco - Many of the deadly heatwaves and hurricanes, droughts and floods this decade have borne the imprint of man-made global warming, said a series of reports Tuesday that warned of worse to come.



With one eye on the American presidential contest between climate change denier Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, UN envoys gathered in Morocco for a second day of talks on putting the Paris Agreement into action.

Trump had vowed to "cancel" the climate rescue pact if he wins, but a series of new reports warned Tuesday of the importance of staying the course.

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the last half-decade from 2011 to 2015 was the warmest five-year stretch on record, with 2014 and 2015 the hottest years of all.

In a report issued on the sidelines of the Marrakesh gathering, it warned of "the increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts."

Climate change "has increased the risks of extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, record rainfall and damaging floods," WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

In a separate report, risk analysts Germanwatch said more than half-a-million people worldwide died as a result of almost 11,000 extreme weather events from 1996 to 2015.

These caused damage upwards of three trillion dollars (2.7 trillion euros).
Four of the 10 countries hardest hit by extreme weather events in 2015 were in Africa, said Germanwatch.

Poor countries, which contributed least to the planet-warming greenhouse gases now in Earth's atmosphere, were also least prepared to deal with the fallout -- superstorms, extreme drought, heatwaves and flooding, it added.

Mozambique topped the list of nations most affected on the agency's Global Climate Risk Index, followed by Dominica, Malawi and India.
Myanmar, Ghana and Madagascar were also among the top 10.

Published : November 08, 2016

By : Agence France-Presse