COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- The effects of climate change are complicating the effort to address the threat of natural disasters in developing nations, U.N. officials said in Denmark.
Michel Jarraud, the secretary-general of the U.N. Meteorological Organization, told delegates at the climate-change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, that changing weather patterns are contributing to the frequency of natural disasters.
"We know with great likelihood that a number of these disasters are likely or very likely to become more intense or more frequent," he said.
Jarraud said past climate and natural disaster data does little for forecasters who struggle to understand changing weather patterns and rising sea levels, which he warned are influenced by climate change.
But Margereta Wahlstrom, the U.N. special envoy for disaster risk reduction, said in Copenhagen that deaths attributed to natural disasters were falling as early warning systems develop.
"But the cost of disasters are equally, steadily going up very dramatically from the 1980s into this decade, and that increase is continuing year by year," she stressed.
World leaders at Copenhagen are working on curbing greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to slow the pace of global warming.