RELEASE: Preventing Future ‘Frankenstorms’
Contact: Christina DiPasquale
Washington, D.C. – In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, a storm that harmed millions of Americans, the Center for American Progress today released “Preventing Future ‘Frankenstorms,’” an analysis detailing the human and financial cost of Hurricane Sandy and other storms, droughts, heatwaves, and floods linked to climate change. This analysis includes an interactive map that shows every county in America affected by at least one extreme weather event that caused over $1 billion in economic damage in 2011-2012, and a table describing these events that enumerates the fatalities and the economic damages.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people suffering from Hurricane Sandy,” said Daniel J. Weiss, CAP Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy.
“After another horrific natural disaster, politicians must attack the carbon pollution responsible for climate change, rather than ignore this unprecedented plague of extreme weather events,” he added. “This new analysis warns that nothing could be costlier than inaction.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that there were a record-high 14 weather events in 2011 that caused at least $1 billion each in damages. CAP estimates there were at least seven additional events with more than $1 billion each in damages in 2012, with total combined damages from the two years between $95 billion to $144 billion. During this time, all but five of the lower 48 states were affected by one or more of these events.
Munich Re, the world’s biggest reinsurance firm, found that North America is experiencing a nearly a fivefold increase in extreme weather disasters since 1980, and that this trend will continue. The Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reinforced the connection between climate change and extreme weather in a report published this past March.
“Right now, the federal government must do everything possible to aid people harmed by Hurricane Sandy. But in the long-term, the next president must work with Congress to slash carbon emissions. We cannot afford more warnings,” concluded Weiss.
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