Disasters claimed thousands of lives in 2012 in the form of floods, earthquakes, tropical storms and tornadoes. This week NOAA released its list of top 10 global weather and climate events and natural disasters took their place in a number of spots.
Climate change appeared on the list in a number of forms including the decreasing Arctic sea ice extent which ranked as the number one event. Conversely, at the opposite end of the globe Antarctic sea ice reached an all-time record maximum extent and was listed as number 10.
Parched landscapes were a scene played out across vast swaths of the Northern Hemisphere and in parts of Brazil in the Southern Hemisphere. Droughts became widespread and these disasters resulted in millions of dollars in losses. NOAA and NASA have said that 2012 was in the top 10 warmest years on record for the globe.
Coming in at number three on the list was Hurricane Sandy, a storm which saved most of its devastation until after it had weakened and was no longer technically a hurricane. Damage from the storm has been estimated at $80 billion and as many as 180 people lost their lives as a result of Sandy.
Super Typhoon Bopha, known as Pablo in the Philippines, became a monstrous Category 5 storm in December of 2012. The storm struck Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines and is blamed for killing more than 900 residents. An additional 600 are still unaccounted for.
Severe flooding from July through October affected more than 15 nations in Africa. 2 million people were displaced and hundreds killed as farmlands and vast swaths of land were inundated by the water.
NOAA’s Top Ten Global Weather/Climate Events for 2012
Rank Event When Occurred
1 Arctic Sea Ice Extent Late Spring Through Fall 2012
2 Agricultural Drought Summer 2012
3 Hurricane Sandy October 2012
4 Super Typhoon Bopha/Pablo December 2012
5 Northern Hemisphere Warmth Throughout 2012
6 Greenland Ice Sheet & Glacier Calving July 2012
7 Eurasian Continent Cold Wave January/February 2012
8 Northeastern Brazil Drought First Half of 2012
9 African Floods July – October 2012
10 Antarctic Sea Ice Extent September 2012
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