from the you-ain't-seen-nothing-yet dept.
Most expensive year on record for US natural disasters
2017 will be remembered as a year of extremes for the U.S. as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires and freezes claimed hundreds of lives and visited economic hardship upon the nation. Recovery from the ravages of three major Atlantic hurricanes making landfall in the U.S. and an extreme and ongoing wildfire season in the West is expected to continue well into the new year.
The US experienced a record year of losses from fires, hurricanes and other weather related disasters in 2017, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa). Total losses amounted to $306bn the agency said, over $90bn more than the previous record set in 2005.
Last year saw 16 separate events with losses exceeding $1bn, including Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Noaa confirmed that 2017 was the third warmest year on record for the US.
Hurricane Harvey produced major flooding as a result of a storm surge and extreme rain. Nearly 800,000 people needed help. Researchers have already shown that climate change increased the likelihood of the observed rainfall by a factor of at least 3.5. Noaa says the total costs of the Harvey event were $125bn, which is second only to Hurricane Katrina in terms of costs over the 38 years the record has been maintained. Hurricane Irma was a Category 5 storm for the longest period on record. Rain gauges in Nederland, Texas, recorded 1,539mm, the largest ever recorded for a single event in the mainland US. Hurricanes Irma and Maria cost $50bn and $90bn respectively.
[Also Covered By]: U.S. Spent a Record $306 Billion on Natural Disasters in 2017
2017 most expensive year because of climate change
According to U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, fires and freezes claimed hundreds of lives and visited economic hardship upon the United States in 2017. Price tag? 306 billion USD. The article has a cute little graph of the major (> 1 billion USD) disasters.
Drill baby drill? Business as usual?