In Germany, meanwhile, a sustained summer heatwave and drought along with average temperatures nearly three degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above normal over a four-month stretch resulted in 1,250 premature deaths and losses of $5 billion, mostly in agriculture.
2018's top weather disasters showed that even the world's most advanced and resilient economies can find themselves at the mercy of meteorological events amplified by global warming.
"Recent science has confirmed the long established link between climate change, on one side, and the frequency and severity of extreme heat, on the other," said Germanwatch researcher Laura Schafer.
"In Europe, for example, extreme heat spells are now 100 times more likely than a century ago." A sustained heatwave in 2003 claimed 70,000 lives across western Europe, mostly in France.
India was also ravaged by crippling heat in 2018, along with the worst flooding in over 100 years and a pair of cyclones. Total damages: nearly $38 billion.
Across the last 20 years, it is still the poorest regions that have suffered the most, the report found.
Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti were hit hardest, mostly due to tropical storms that have grown more destructive due to sea-level rise.
A single cyclone, Nargis, claimed some 140,000 lives and destroyed the property of 2.4 million people along coastal areas in Myanmar in 2008.
The new report came a day after the UN's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed that the last decade is the hottest on record, and up to 22 million people will have been displaced by extreme weather this year alone.
"Once again, in 2019 weather and climate-related risks hit hard," WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. "Heatwaves and floods which used to be 'once in a century' events are becoming more regular occurrences."
While it is hard calculate how much climate change
contributes in each case, its signature fingerprint has become unmistakable with barely 1C (1.8F) warming above preindustrial levels.
On current trends, the planet is on track to heat up an additional three degrees, and even if the world's nations -- gathered this week in Madrid for UN climate talks -- honour carbon cutting pledges under the Paris climate treaty, Earth will see it's surface warm another 2C.
"We are not even adapted to 1.1 degree of warming," noted Friederike Otto, Deputy Director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford. In their 25th year, the UN climate talks have so far failed to secure the commitments needed to drawdown the greenhouse gases fuelling global warming.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.