Many of the deadly heatwaves and hurricanes, droughts and floods this decade have borne the imprint of man-made global warming, said a series of reports yesterday that warned of worse to come.

United Nations envoys yesterday gathered in Morocco for a second day of talks on putting the Paris Agreement into action.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the half-decade from 2011 to 2015 was the warmest five-year stretch on record, with 2014 and 2015 the hottest of all.

In a report issued on the sidelines of the Marrakesh gathering, it warned of "the increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts". Climate change "has increased the risks of extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, record rainfall and damaging floods", WMO secretary general Petteri Taalas said.

In a separate report, risk analysts Germanwatch said more than half-a-million people worldwide died as a result of almost 11,000 extreme weather events from 1996 to 2015.

These caused damage upwards of US$3 trillion ($3.07t).
Four of the 10 countries hardest hit by extreme weather events last year were in Africa, said Germanwatch.

Poor countries, which contributed least to the planet-warming greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere, were least prepared to deal with the fallout - superstorms, extreme drought, heatwaves and flooding.

The Paris Agreement, the world's first universal climate pact, vows to cap global warming to under 2C over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, while aiming for 1.5 C.