2016 was recorded as the second-warmest year to date according to NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information report. According to NOAA, "Some extreme weather and climate events have increased in recent decades." A staggering $46 billion has been spent in damages due to climate-based disasters in 48 U.S. states. Unfortunately, these types of disasters not only cause monetary damages but have taken the lives of at least 138 people.
The yearly report included seven types of climate related disasters, which included droughts, hurricanes, and winter storms throughout the country. The news is opening up new discussions on how best to resiliently build in coastal areas that could be affected and where would the funds come from to pay for such mitigation. Once catastrophes occur, insurance companies and governmental agencies, such as FEMA and states, pay for losses. In addition, individuals absorb losses.
As reported on Bloomberg.com, “Warmer temperatures can have profound effects on both energy and agriculture. 'We have not arrived in our climate of the future, but we have certainly left our climate of the past. Our institutions will need to use this information -- and the details within it -- to make better bottom-line decisions.' said Deke Arndt, chief of the National Centers’ climate monitoring branch."
The report also noted the annual average temperatures ranged in the top 10% for all states and Alaska had its warmest year on record by having an average temperature of 31.9 degrees.
Two current major catastrophes involving inland flooding each exceeded $1 billion in losses. Both Hurricane Matthew in October followed by the Louisiana flooding in August topped the list last year by costing $10 billion in damages each. Researchers agree the warmer the world becomes the more moisture the atmosphere will carry and the higher chance that climate-based catastrophes will cause more damages.