The earth’s meteorological system has witnessed extreme variations in temperature and moisture patterns across millennia, but they were not driven by a species, until now. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), published in August 2021, confirmed that “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land”. With that, changes in the frequency and intensity of natural disasters have increased. Drought, floods, hurricanes, and epidemics all have serious implications for food and livelihood security, and in particular, communities that are ill-adapted to these extreme weather events. Natural disasters threaten development, but they are also good indicators of development failures.  

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Monique Bennett holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her interest in the field of data science and statistics was sparked by her quantitative methodology course during her studies. Her research focuses on development theory, governance, and the environment within the African context. She has written for news outlets such as the Daily Maverick and supports her research team by providing data-driven evidence for their research/op-eds. She has worked as a research assistant for In On Africa and as a public relations manager for the student organisation, Wits Inala Forum.