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Climate Change Made Deadly African Cyclones More Severe

Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi were hit by a series of storms this year that killed hundreds of people

Destroyed buildings stand in flood waters following the cyclone in this aerial photograph over the outskirts of Beira, Mozambique in 2019.

Destroyed buildings stand in flood waters following the cyclone in this aerial photograph over the outskirts of Beira, Mozambique in 2019.

Photographer: Guillem Sartorio/Bloomberg

The deadly cyclones and tropical storms that battered southern Africa this year were made more severe by climate change, according to 22 scientists collaborating under the World Weather Attribution initiative.

Rainfall data associated with two of the three tropical cyclones and two other tropical storms that tore across Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi over a period of six weeks showed that climate change likely resulted in heavier precipitation, according to the study. The disasters killed 230 people and affected more than 1 million.