Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weather disasters cost US $110 billion in 2012

Doyle Rice in CIO Today: With $110 billion in damage, 2012 was the second-costliest year for weather and climate disasters since these records began to be kept in 1980, federal climate scientists announced Thursday. Only 2005 was costlier, with $160 billion in damage, when Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast.

The National Climatic Data Center reported the USA in 2012 had 11 separate weather and climate events that each had losses exceeding $1 billion in damage. This follows another catastrophic year, 2011, when a record 14 separate billion-dollar disasters were documented

So is the weather really getting worse?  "2011 and 2012 were truly extreme years climatologically, as we saw several types of all-time records shattered," reports climate scientist Adam Smith of the climate center. "We experienced historic tornado outbreaks and large-scale  flooding in 2011, crippling drought and heat waves in both 2011 and 2012, and of course, tropical cyclones Irene and Sandy damaging the Northeast. "This is all compounded by the growing amount of property that exists in harm's way," Smith says.

The two major drivers of damage costs in 2012 were Hurricane Sandy (at approximately $65 billion) and the year-long drought (at approximately $30 billion.) Sandy was also the nation's deadliest disaster, causing more than 130 fatalities, the climate center reported....

Hurricane Sandy at Marblehead, Massachusetts, shot by The Brikes, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: