The United States suffered from numerous extreme weather events in 2011 and 2012. In fact, there were 25 severe storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, and wildfires that each caused more than $1 billion in economic damages, with a total price tag of $188 billion. To help communities recover from these violent weather events, the federal government spent nearly $62 billion for disaster relief in fiscal years 2011 and 2012. These federal funds only cover a portion of recovery costs; private insurance and individuals harmed by the events also spent billions of dollars.
There is recent evidence that climate change played a role in the extreme weather events of 2012. The recently released analysis from the American Meteorological Society determined that:
Approximately half the analyses found some evidence that anthropogenically caused climate change was a contributing factor to the extreme event examined, though the effects of natural fluctuations of weather and climate on the evolution of many of the extreme events played key roles as well.
For more on this topic, please see:
- States of Denial: States with the Most Federal Disaster Aid Sent Climate-Science Deniers to Congress by Daniel J. Weiss, Jackie Weidman, and Stephanie Pinkalla