Extreme Weather Events Cost U.S. $188 Billion in 2011-2012
The Center for American Progress released a report in November noting weather events costing more than $1 billion each in damage. Since then, four more weather events passed the $1 billion mark. The Center has now updated the totals: There were 14 extreme weather events in 2011 — including floods, drought, storms, and wildfires — costing more than $1 billion, and there were another 11 such disasters in 2012. From the Center:
From 2011 to 2012 these 25 “billion-dollar damage” weather events in the United States are estimated to have caused up to $188 billion in total damage. The two costliest events were the September 2012 drought—the worst drought in half a century, which baked nearly two-thirds of the continental United States—and superstorm Sandy, which battered the northeast coast in late October 2012. Four recently added disastrous weather events were severe tornadoes and thunderstorms.
As the Center points out, “The climate-related extreme weather events of the past several years have become the new normal.” See the Center for American Progress article for more details.
Meanwhile, here’s an excellent article on the current and ongoing costs of climate change in the National Journal by reporter Coral Davenport. Notably, coastal communities (and drought-affected farmers) are bearing the brunt of costs so far.