New research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed that fire, floods, hurricanes, and other natural disasters cost the United States $145 billion in losses last year while resulting in 688 deaths.
According to the overview released on Monday, there were 20 natural-disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each in 2021. Severe storm events had the most significant impact.
“Disaster costs over the last five years exceeded a record $742 billion, reflecting the increased exposure and vulnerability of the US to extreme weather and climate events,” NOAA said.
The report also found that 2021 was the fourth-warmest year on record in the US, with December 2021 being the warmest December ever recorded. For all of 2021, the average temperature of the contiguous 48 states was 54.5 degrees Fahrenheit, the fourth-hottest in NOAA’s 127 years of records.
The US has sustained 310 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages and costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. The total cost of those events exceeded $2.155 trillion, according to NOAA.
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