According to the conclusions of a new report released by CoreLogic, it would appear that floods and other extreme weather events triggered by global warming cost the United States more than $10 billion for 2011. The report is freely available after completing a short registration process, here.
The document, entitled 2011 Natural Hazard Risk Summary and Analysis, highlights how scientific predictions of how this year will pan out – in terms of seemingly-natural catastrophes – were correct. In some instances, they were even exceeded.
For starters, this was the most active, expensive and deadly hurricane season since 2008, even though only three Atlantic storms managed to make landfall. Between themselves, they caused more than $8 billion in damage, primarily through flooding.
At the same time, the tornado season was the third most brutal in the past 30 years, causing a total of 552 deaths. This number if higher than the number of people who died on account of tornadoes over the past 10 years.
Furthermore, wildfire patterns shifted as predicted, from California to drought-stricken states such as Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. Scientists predicted some time ago that wildfires will decrease in number, but increase in intensity, and this is precisely what is happening.
The CoreLogic report also proposes that 2012 should be a drier year, with fewer floods than 2011. However, this is only a projection based on a statistical trend. Global warming oftentimes influences the Earth in such a way that previously-accurate models become outdated.
What is also interesting about the document is that it shows how homeowners, authorities, insurance agents and federal agencies are beginning to change they way they see these disasters. By now, it should be obvious that they occur in a manner that has long since been predicted.
However, accepting that to be the case would require that many people accept global warming as a real phenomenon. Unfortunately, not many are willing to do so. This was evidenced by the Republican Party stance on climate change this year.
One in five of the votes Republican Congressmen gave this year (about 190 in all) were against climate science in one way or another. With this type of approach, extreme weather events such as this one will continue unchecked, and the amount of money needed to address them will spike as well.