Last year, natural disasters worldwide caused about 270 billion dollars (about 251 billion euros) in damage worldwide, based on preliminary estimates. About 120 billion dollars of that amount of damage was insured, so according to an inventory on Tuesday of the German insurer Munich Re. The total amount of damage is slightly lower than in the “extremely costly” 2021, when natural disasters caused 320 billion dollars in damage, and insurance companies reimbursed about 120 billion dollars.

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    Munich Re, a German organization that is active as a ‘reinsurer’ of other insurance organizations, points to weather extremes caused by climate change as the cause of the natural disasters. Hurricane Ian, which swept through the US state of Florida in October and claimed more than 100 lives, caused $100 billion in damage. 60 billion of that was insured. Other costly disasters included devastating floods in parts of Australia and heat waves and subsequent drought in Asia. The south of that continent was also hit by monsoon rains.

    Adjusted for inflation, Ian was the second costliest tropical storm, after US Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which killed more than 1,800 people. The insurer states that climate change is not always the cause of damage caused by natural disasters: in 2011, the most damage ever was caused (355 billion dollars). This was mainly due to a tsunami following an earthquake off the coast of Fukushima, Japan, which had nothing to do with global warming.