When Extreme Weather Causes Extreme Destruction

Center for American Progress: “So far, the 2010s have been the decade of severe weather in the United States. In the first four years of the decade, there was an average of 72 presidential major disaster declarations per year due to floods, storms, and wildfires—a nearly 30 percent increase over the previous decade’s average.”

“The total extreme weather cost for the 34 most severe events [between 2011 and 2013 was] 1,221 fatalities and $208 billion in damage.”

Can these events be attributed to climate change?

“Many of 2013’s other most destructive extreme weather events were symptomatic of what scientists predict will occur with greater frequency or severity as climate change accelerates. The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, … recently determined that ‘Climate change … can lead to changes in the likelihood of the occurrence or strength of extreme weather and climate events such as extreme precipitation events or warm spells.’”


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