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Monday, June 17, 2013

One billion dollar weather disasters in the US

Listening to the Weather Channel last evening, with a lot of thunderstorm warnings all around my new 'burg--yet again--the announcers mentioned that the last several years has seen a great deal of $1 billion dollar weather disasters in the US. They seemed to softly suggest that it was likely due to global warming and/or climate change.

So I Googled:

Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters, 1980–2013

Source: National Climatic Data Center
The U.S. has sustained 123 weather-related disasters during the 1980-2012 period in which overall damages and costs reached or exceeded $1 billion at the time of the event. Twelve occurred during 2011 alone—the most for any year on record, with total costs being approximately $52 billion.

Then I searched some more:

According to NCDC’s 2012 weather and climate disasters information, 2012 saw 11 weather and climate disaster events each with losses exceeding $1 billion in damages. This makes 2012 the second costliest year since 1980, with a total of more than $110 billion in damages throughout the year. The 2012 total damages rank only behind 2005, which incurred $160 billion in damages due in part to four devastating land-falling hurricanes.

The 2012 billion-dollar events included seven severe weather and tornado events, two tropical cyclone events, and the yearlong drought and its associated wildfires. These 11 events killed over 300 people and had devastating economic effects on the areas impacted. With 11 events, 2012 also ranks second highest in total number of billion-dollar events behind 2011, which had 14 events.

The two major drivers of the damage costs in 2012 were Sandy at approximately $65 billion and the yearlong drought at approximately $30 billion. Sandy’s large size, with tropical storm force winds extending nearly 500 miles from the center, led to record storm surge, large-scale flooding, wind damage, and mass power outages along much of the East Coast.

So it begs the question: at what point do we learn?

At what point do our nation's leaders stand up, recognize the situation we're in and lead the people, lead the country to what we need?  That is, how soon until they guide us onto a path of far more sustainable lives and living?

We need to get started.

Links: Billion Dollar U.S. Weather Disasters, 1980–2013 |

Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters

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