USA - 2020 Expected to Break Record for Natural Disaster Spending
The United States is set to break a record in 2020 for money spent on disasters, and climate change is exacerbating these costly natural events.
The U.S. has spent more money cleaning up after hurricanes and wildfires this year than ever before.
Calculations by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show that the country will have experienced about 20 individual billion dollar disasters by the end of the year.
The first nine months of this year alone tied that annual record. 2020 is also the sixth consecutive year in which 10 or more billion dollar weather and climate disaster events have impacted the country, according to NOAA.
During a recent virtual panel discussion hosted by the nonprofit Climate Central, Adam Smith, a climatologist with NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, said this year will shatter the previous annual record of 16 in 2011 and 2017.
“You can see that indeed there is both an increase in the frequency and the cost of these events,” said Smith. “The trends are all going the wrong way.”
Natural disaster costs have been above $100 billion per year on average over the last five years, Smith said, and will increase even further by the end-of-year analysis.