While the world has seen a lot of human suffering since we emerged from the tree, this is getting ridiculous. All the deniers and decriers better get ready for a rough ride.
2011 saw record number of high-cost weather disasters
The U.S. experienced a dozen natural disasters that each caused at least $1 billion in damages this year.
The United States had a dozen weather disasters that each caused at least $1 billion in damages in 2011, the greatest frequency of severe weather that caused costly losses in more than 30 years of federal government tracking.
However, even with the number of events, the total losses this year from the storms, flooding and droughts is $52 billion, not even close to the most expensive year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina alone cost $145 billion in today’s dollars. It was the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history and, with more than 1,800 deaths, the highest fatality toll since a 1928 hurricane in south Florida.
The disasters in 2011 caused more than 600 deaths, the agency said. The Groundhog Day blizzard, Hurricane Irene, many tornadoes and drought-fueled wildfires in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona crossed the $1-billion threshold.
The increase in losses from hurricanes has more to do with population growth and increased home building near beaches than it does with climate change, scientists from NOAA say.
But, they added, “there is evidence that climate change may affect the frequency of certain extreme weather events. An increase in population and development in flood plains, along with an increase in heavy rain events in the U.S. during the past 50 years, have gradually increased the economic losses due to flooding. If the climate continues to warm, the increase in heavy rain events is likely to continue. There are projections that the incidence of extreme droughts will increase if the climate warms throughout the 21st century.”