Graph of the Day: Natural Catastrophes Worldwide, 1980-2010
23 June, 2012
Climate change is already affecting extreme weather. The National Academy of Sciences reports that rain has become concentrated in heavier downpours and the hottest days are now hotter. And the fingerprint of global warming behind these changes has been firmly identified.
In the strictest sense, all weather events are now affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur (the atmosphere) is significantly warmer and wetter than it used to be.
NOAA reports an increase in billion-dollar weather disasters across the U,.S. in recent years with an astonishing 14 weather disasters totaling over $50 billion in damages occurring in 2011 alone. Four out of five Americans live in counties where natural disasters have been declared since 2006. the insurance giant Munich RE reports that the number of weather catastrophes across the world has tripled since 1980 and that climate change is helping to drive this trend.