Extreme weather events collectively cost US $145 billion in 2021: Report

1 week ago 24

A total of 20 weather events occurring in the US in 2021 that were chronicled by the US National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) collectively cost the country at least $145 billion.

Topics
weather | United States

IANS  |  New York 

A total of 20 weather events occurring in the US in 2021 that were chronicled by the US National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) collectively cost the country at least $145 billion.

Each of those climate or weather events individually led to losses of at least $1 billion and they in all contributed to the deaths of 688 people across the US, showing that "we're not going to be able to adapt our way out of the increasingly violent climate," said the agency in its report released on Monday.

Tropical storms had by far the largest economic impact in 2021, causing $78.5 billion in damage; of that, $74 billion alone came from Hurricane Ida, with the storm leaving a trail of destruction from Louisiana to New York, according to the report.

Winter storms followed their tropical counterparts, causing $24 billion in damage. Severe storms and wildfires cost the country $20.4 billion and $10.6 billion, respectively.

The deadliest weather event of 2021 was the drought and series of heat waves that rippled across the West, killing 229 over the course of the year, Xinhua news agency reported.

"There was no shortage of apocalyptic weather disasters plaguing the US in 2021, from pipe-bursting freezes in Texas to road warping heat in the Pacific Northwest to an endless parade of wildfires mixed in for good measure," said Gizmodo, a US design, technology, science and science fiction website, while reporting about the NCEI data.

Those figures are made even worse when put in context with previous years. The 20 weather events costing more than $1 billion in 2021 far eclipsed the average of roughly seven similar weather events annually between 1980 and 2021.

"Of the 310 weather events topping $1 billion in damage recorded over the past 41 years, 2021 alone accounted for over 15 per cent of them," Gizmodo cited NCEI.

In just the past five years, weather and climate disasters cost the US economy $742.1 billion and left some 4,519 people dead. The staggering toll reflects a few trends. One is an increasingly violent climate where heat waves are more intense, hurricanes can do more damage, and wildfires are more voracious due to burning fossil fuels.

"Climate change is also playing a role in the increasing frequency of some types of extreme weather that lead to billion-dollar disasters," the authors of the NCEI report noted.

"Most notably the rise in vulnerability to drought, lengthening wildfire seasons in the western states, and the potential for extremely heavy rainfall (are) becoming more common in the eastern states."

--IANS

int/khz/

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Read Entire Article