JRC Atlas of the Human Planet 2017 highlights exposure to natural hazards
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published the 2017 edition of its Atlas of the Human Planet. The publication looks at the exposure of people and built-up-areas to the six major natural hazards (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, tropical cyclone winds, tropical cyclone storm surge and floods), and its evolution over the last 40 years.
One out of three people in the world is exposed to earthquakes, a number which almost doubled in the past 40 years. Around 1 billion in 155 countries are exposed to floods and 414 million live near one of the 220 most dangerous volcanoes. In Europe alone, more than 170 million people are potentially exposed to earthquakes, almost a quarter of the total population. In Italy, Romania, or Greece the share of exposed over total population reaches over 80%. With regard to flooding, the most frequent natural disaster, Germany has the highest number of people exposed to this natural hazard in Europe, with about 8 million (10% of the national population), followed by France with 5.7 million (9%). Exposure to floods is, however, highest in Asia (76.9% of the global exposed population) and in Africa (12.2%).
The first edition of the Atlas of the Human Planet was published in 2016, in which JRC scientists combined earth observation with spatial modelling techniques to create the Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL). The GHSL dataset has been now combined with the best available global hazard maps to measure the potential exposure to natural hazards over time.
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