Record number of U.S. weather disasters struck in 2020, costing billions

The fact that more people are living in areas vulnerable to climate disasters also contributed to the record number of billion-dollar events.

33
SOURCEEcoWatch

A record-smashing 22 weather disasters inflicted at least $1billion of damage on the U.S. in 2020, according to NOAA, as the toll of human-caused climate change mounts in real time.

The 22 disasters blew away the previous record of 16, killed 262 people, and inflicted $95 billion in damages in 2020, which European scientists say is tied for the hottest year on record.

Climate change, caused by burning fossil fuels, makes wildfires more extreme, hurricanes more intense and intensify more quickly, and extreme rainfall more severe as warmer air holds more moisture that can then be dumped in overwhelming volumes.

The fact that more people are living in areas vulnerable to climate disasters also contributed to the record number of billion-dollar events.

Weather disasters ravaged areas across the Lower 48 states, as wildfires incinerated more than 10 million acres across the West, thunderstorms deluged the Midwest, and hurricanes repeatedly pummeled the Gulf Coast.

For a deeper dive:

Disasters: CNNPolitico ProThe GuardianE&EThe Hill, Bloomberg; Hottest year: AxiosThomson Reuters FoundationEarther; Both: CNNWashington Post, Buzzfeed; Climate Signals background: 2020 Western wildfire season2020 Atlantic hurricane seasonExtreme precipitation

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

FALL FUNDRAISER

If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.

Fall 2019

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $5.00 One Time

COMMENTS