The Super Typhoon and Climate Change

The head of the Philippines delegation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw suggests climate change is responsible for Typhoon Haiyan. Is he right? Quartz investigates the connection.
November 12, 2013, 8am PST | Irvin Dawid
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While the short answer is likely "no", there is a strong connection to the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan and climate change nonetheless. Heather Timmons notes that "(t)he Philippines, a collection of thousands of islands, is ranked the third-most vulnerable (PDF) nation in the world to climate change caused by the effects of greenhouse gases."

There have been no conclusive scientific studies finding that storms are getting more frequent or stronger in the Pacific Ocean, but the destruction wrought by Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, marks the third year in a row that the island nation has been hit by such a deadly storm. It will also be the sixth year in a row that a storm has cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.

Yeb Sano, the Filipino delegate spoke of the devastation wrought by Haiyan in an emotional speech at the climate talks, and "said he will stop eating until participants make 'meaningful' progress," reports BBC's Matt McGrath. The Warsaw Climate Change Conference is the next round of Kyoto Protocol discussions.

One issue to be discussed, relevant to addressing the costs of the typhoon, pegged at $14 billion according to one analyst, "is the idea of developing a way to compensate poorer countries for damage caused by climate change," writes Timmons.

At the climate convention, "(d)elegates are trying to craft by 2015 a global deal to cut emissions. Scientists warn that rising temperatures threaten to make tropical cyclones such as Haiyan more intense," writes Alex Morales of Bloomberg News.

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Published on Sunday, November 10, 2013 in Quartz
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