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Extreme Weather Seen as Major 2018 Risk

World Economic Forum ranks them ahead of global forum
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2018 7:22 AM CST
World's Biggest Risks for 2018
This 2015 photo shows a woman holding her daughter after flood waters entered their house following heavy monsoon rains in Gauhati, India.   (AP Photo/Anupam Nath, File)

(Newser) – Humans are "pushing systems to the brink, from extinction-level rates of biodiversity loss to mounting concerns about the possibility of new wars," according to the World Economic Forum. On the upside, a stronger economic outlook means global leaders will have "a golden opportunity" to address some of the substantial risks to global stability, as tallied by 1,000 experts ahead of the WEF's annual meeting that starts next week in Switzerland. (President Trump will give the closing address, reports USA Today.) The experts say a "deteriorating geopolitical landscape" means the world is entering a "critical period of intensified risks," and CNBC provides the breakdown, with "extreme weather events" seen as the most likely threat:

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Top risks in terms of likelihood:
1. Extreme weather events
2. Natural disasters
3. Cyberattacks
4. Data fraud or theft
5. Failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change

Top risks in terms of impact:
1. Use of weapons of mass destruction
2. Extreme weather events
3. Natural disasters
4. Failure to mitigate and adapt to climate change
5. Water crises

In the survey, 93% of respondents expect political or economic confrontations to worsen this year. Almost 80% expect an increased risk of regional conflicts and "state-on-state" war. (See Eurasia Group's risks for 2018.)

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