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Weather & Science

Deaths, Costs of Climate-Linked Disasters May Be Grossly Undercounted

A disparity in global climate data means the effects of some heat waves and other weather disasters have been missed, scientists say. 

A farmer pours water on himself during a recent heat wave in the Ludhiana district of Punjab, India. 

A farmer pours water on himself during a recent heat wave in the Ludhiana district of Punjab, India. 

Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg

Climate change is outpacing scientific efforts to tally its widespread costs, particularly in the low- and middle-income countries seeing some of the worst effects. A new overview of weather disasters and the role of climate change within them reports grotesque inequality in the amount of information available from country to country, and recommends investment in local expertise to close the gap. 

As a result of sometimes scant information, scientists are having trouble assembling a system-wide look at how climate change is affecting people globally, according to the research published today in the new journal Environmental Research: Climate