Extreme weather caused 18 disasters in US last year, costing $165bn | Climate crisis | The Guardian

The US endured a particularly painful year as communities wrestled with the growing impacts of the climate crisis, with 18 major disasters wreaking havoc across the country as planet-heating emissions continued to climb.

Last year was “part of a trend of hyperactive disaster years across the US”, said Adam Smith, an applied climatologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), which released the data. Since 2016, there have been 122 separate billion-dollar weather and climate events that have, in total, killed more than 5,000 people and caused more than $1tn in damages.

“We are seeing several trends of climate-enhanced disasters,” said Smith, noting that the US is seeing longer, more intense wildfire seasons, severe rainfall events and the sort of huge, category four and five hurricanes in the past few years that Noaa has not documented before in its historical record, which stretches back to 1851.

Extreme weather caused 18 disasters in US last year, costing $165bn | Climate crisis | The Guardian