With the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 19th Conference of the Parties meeting taking place in Warsaw November 11-22, there will be much consternation about cyclone Yolanda that hit the Philippine Islands November 8. Global warming caused by carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels will be the labeled the culprit.
Now the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide due to burning fossil fuels is admitted to have started after 1950; so it is reasonable to assume that natural disasters before 1950 are due the obvious–being natural events. Wikipedia features a list of the Top Ten Natural Disasters given by the table at the end of this article. Only two disasters occurred after 1950–the July 1976 China earthquake and the November 1970 Bangladesh cyclone. It is far fetched to blame earthquakes on carbon dioxide emissions.
Yolanda had much media attention as it formed in the Pacific leading to speculation its collision with the Philippine Islands can be used as a target to promote stopping use of fossil fuels. With present estimates of 10,000 fatalities from Yolanda, it will not make the list of Top Ten Natural Disasters. It would take in excess of 260,000 fatalities to make the list.
Carbon dioxide emissions are not a factor in this cyclone creation. Another area not mentioned is 2013 is a year of neutral temperature changes in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. It is neither a year of Pacific equatorial warming–El Nino-nor a year of cooling–La Nina.
Ten deadliest natural disasters
|Rank||Death toll (estimate)||Event||Location||Date|
|1||1,000,000–4,000,000*||1931 China floods||China||01931 !July, August, 1931|
|2||900,000–2,000,000||1887 Yellow River flood||China||01887 !September, October, 1887|
|3||830,000||1556 Shaanxi earthquake||China||01556 !January 23, 1556|
|4||242,000–779,000||1976 Tangshan earthquake||China||01976-07-01July 1976|
|5||500,000–1,000,000||1970 Bhola cyclone||East Pakistan(nowBangladesh)||01970-11-13November 13, 1970|
|6||300,000||1839 India Cyclone||India||01839 !November 25, 1839|
|6||300,000||1737 Calcutta cyclone||India||01737-10-07October 7, 1737|
|8||273,400||1920 Haiyuan earthquake||China||01920-12-16December 16, 1920|
|9||250,000–300,000||526 Antioch earthquake||Byzantine Empire (nowTurkey)||00526-05-01May 526|
|10||260,000||115 Antioch earthquake||Roman Empire (nowTurkey)||00115-12-13December 13, 115|