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Fraser Institute News Release: No evidence of increasing droughts, floods, hurricanes and wildfires, despite activist claims

/EIN News/ -- VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Contrary to claims by many climate activists and politicians, extreme weather events—including forest fires, droughts, floods and hurricanes—are not increasing in frequency or intensity, finds a new study published today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Earth Day has become a time when extraordinary claims are made about extreme weather events, but before policymakers act on those extreme claims—often with harmful regulations—it’s important to study the actual evidence,” said Kenneth Green, a senior fellow with the Fraser Institute and author of Extreme Weather and Climate Change.

The study finds that global temperatures have increased moderately since 1950 but there is no evidence that extreme weather events are on the rise, including:

  • Drought: Data from the World Meteorological Organization Standardized Precipitation Index showed no statistically significant trends in drought duration or magnitude—with the exception of some small regions in Africa and South America—from 1900 to 2020.
  • Flooding: Research in the Journal of Hydrology in 2017, analyzing 9,213 recording stations around the world, found there were more stations exhibiting significant decreasing trends (in flood risk) than increasing trends.
  • Hurricanes: Research conducted for the World Meteorological Organization in 2019 (updated in 2023) found no long-term trends in hurricanes or major hurricanes recorded globally going back to 1980.
  • Forest Fires: The Royal Society in London, in 2020, found that when considering the total area burned at the global level, there is no overall increase, but rather a decline over the last decades. In Canada, data from Canada’s Wildland Fire Information System show that the number of fires and the area burned in Canada have both been declining over the past 30 years.

“The evidence is clear—many of the claims that extreme weather events are increasing are simply not empirically true,” Green said.

“Before governments impose new regulations or enact new programs, they need to study the actual data and base their actions on facts, not unsubstantiated claims.”

MEDIA CONTACT:
Kenneth Green, Senior Fellow
Fraser Institute

To arrange media interviews or for more information, please contact:
Drue MacPherson, Fraser Institute, (604) 688-0221 Ext. 721
drue.macpherson@fraserinstitute.org

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The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org


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