New report highlights concern for South America which has long seen hints of ecological threats.
A report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says that geophysical incidents and events inspired by climate breakdown caused the deaths of 312,000 people.
The findings go on to say nearly 300 million people have been affected.
Receding glaciers and the retreat of their existence caused by increasing global temperatures have increased sea level rise, resulting in floods and coastal erosion that have endangered millions of lives around the world.
To highlight the release of the report, UN Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas said “Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is among the regions most challenged by extreme hydro- meteorological events.”
Wildfires are of particular note in the report with considerable losses attributed to climate related destruction. Mr Taalas went on to say:
“This was highlighted in 2020 by the death and devastation from Hurricane Eta and Iota in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and the intense drought and unusual fire season in the Pantanal region of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina.”
The report found that “2020 was among the three warmest years on record in Central America and the Caribbean, and the second warmest year in South America, with 1.0°C, 0.8°C and 0.6°C above the 1981-2010 period, respectively.”
Mr Taalas said: “Notable impacts included water and energy-related shortages, agricultural losses, displacement and compromised health and safety, all compounding challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic,” This was backed by the report that found: “Annual precipitation totals in 2020 were also below the long-term average”