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Growing threats to global cities.
Tuesday, 11th February 2014
Source : Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist

As weather professionals from across the globe meet for the American Meteorological Society's Annual Conference, around the theme 'Extreme Weather-Climate and the Built Environment', the Center for American Progress (CAP) has just released an important report.

Titled "5 Growing Threats to America’s Cities", this study focuses on cities in the United States; however, cities around the world from San Paolo to Shanghai will probably be even more affected.   
Weather events worldwide have dominated the news media lately. From the polar vortices in the US creating record low temperatures to the cyclonic rains in in the Philippines' Tacloban, causing devastating floods, Mother Nature is putting the world's cities on notice that they must prepare now for more extreme weather ahead.

We have even seen severe tornadoes in Bangladesh and East India, an area we do not generally associate with that type of storms.
The five growing extreme weather threats to cities CAP identified are:

  • Heavy precipitation and floods
  • Droughts
  • Heat waves
  • Tropical storms combined with sea-level rise
  • Severe thunderstorms.
"These catastrophic events are taking lives, destroying businesses, and draining the federal [treasuries]". CAP's analysis from last year's data found there were 25 extreme weather events in one year (2011 to 2012) alone caused more than USD$1 billion in economic damages.

Combined, these events took 1,100 lives and caused $188 billion in economic losses.
Those events cost US taxpayers USD$136 billion in fiscal years 2011 to 2013 to help communities recover from weather events. That cost translates to USD$400 per household---per year. With increasing frequency, there will be increasing costs to citizens---not only in the US, but everywhere.
There are far-reaching implications of this increasingly extreme weather. Cities "face the daunting task of becoming better prepared and more resilient to future extreme weather events." All kinds of employers will have serious work to do to create emergency operations plans.

The US' NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has even created a new initiative called "Weather-Ready Nation" to help individuals and organizations prepare for the weather challenges ahead. From sea-level rise to droughts, many areas of the world are coping with growing threats. The Weather Channel in the US, which attracts larger audiences in times of weather crisis, is going to be the real winner in the years ahead. ###
This Herman Trend Alert is the first of a number we will write about how various sectors will be affected by the increasing climate changes ahead.

© Copyright 1998-2014 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved. From 'The Herman Trend Alert,' by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or

The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

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