Hurricanes supercharged by a warmer atmosphere are sometimes the costliest of all. As of this Friday, there are no detailed estimates of damage from Hurricane Ian, which came like a wrecking ball across southwestern Florida. As a Category 4 hurricane, Ian will almost certainly be among the really big extreme weather events that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the American scientific and regulatory agency, calls “billion-dollar disasters.” There’s been a sharp uptick in billion-dollar disasters in this country, according to NOAA’s count. The number of very costly extreme weather events have risen measurably, too. Why are they on the rise? Property values are part of the answer, according to NOAA, but also climate change, which is “increasing the frequency of some types of extremes that lead to billion-dollar disasters.”
By Somini Sengupta. New York Times: September 30, 2022.
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