According to data from the newly established National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States has experienced a record 22 major natural disasters in 2020, each causing at least $1 billion in losses analysis Released on Friday.
The total losses of these major hurricanes, wildfires, and severe storms amounted to 95 billion U.S. dollars, making 2020 the fourth highest year for disaster losses in the United States.
“We sound like a record breaking, saying that each year is a historic year, but it is true,” Adam Smith, an applied climatologist at the NOAA National Environmental Information Center responsible for this analysis, told BuzzFeed News. “We are running out of adjectives trying to describe these extreme events.”
Part of the reason for rising costs is that people continue to move to and build houses where their houses and businesses are at risk of damage from fires, storms, and floods. But man-made climate change is also to blame, leading to more and more extreme disasters. The wildfire season is getting longer and longer. Hurricanes are getting wetter. with More rain More inland floods are being caused across the United States.
In the latest signs of the worsening of the climate crisis, new data from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service Center shows 2020 tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record worldwide. American scientists will announce their analysis of last year’s temperature next week.
“Over time, the fingerprints of climate change have become more and more obvious for some of these extreme events,” Smith said.
The worst disaster in 2020 is Hurricane Laura, which struck the coast of Louisiana with a Category 4 storm, causing losses of 19 billion U.S. dollars. This is one of seven tropical cyclones that cost the United States more than 1 billion U.S. dollars. Laura also claimed 42 lives, making it the deadliest storm in the United States this year.
although 2020 is the busiest hurricane season ever in the Atlantic OceanSmith said that since no major storms hit large cities, the United States did not suffer greater losses that might be related to the storm.
Hurricanes have historically been one of the worst disasters in the United States. The record for the most costly disasters (16 of them) was set in 2017, partly due to its active hurricane season, and It still claims to be the most expensive year on record, Mainly due to hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria causing losses of $306.
Last year was also a disastrous year for wildfires. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), fires in western California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have caused a total of $16.5 billion in damage, burned more than 10.2 million acres of land, and killed 46 people.Wildfires also release a lot of air pollution, and Health risks such as asthma and heart disease, Which triggered public health costs that were not considered in the NOAA analysis.
Another costly disaster in 2020 was the Drake Storm from southeastern South Dakota to Ohio, which destroyed houses and buildings. Cutting force More than 1 million people, and caused a total loss of 11 billion U.S. dollars.