The Science Agency confirms that the year 2023 has already broken records for the number of climate disasters and extreme weather

WASHINGTON – The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today released its updated data calculating the toll of extreme weather and climate disasters in the United States for 2023 to date. According to the agency, between January and August of this year, the country experienced a record 23 separate disasters — surpassing the previous record of 22 events during all of 2020 — that contributed to 253 deaths and reported damage exceeding $1. billion dollars at a total economic cost of $57.6 billion this year. This data does not include costs associated with Hurricane Idalia, which are expected to grow over the remaining four months of 2023. Climate change is worsening as the planet warms and is contributing to many of these types of disasters – including extreme heat, wildfires, drought and drought. – Intensification of storms and floods. It also collides with other persistent social and economic challenges and maladaptive practices, increasing harm to people and property.

The following is a statement by Dr. Rachel Cletus, Policy Director and Chief Economist for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“These record numbers, in a year that is on track to be one of the hottest on record, are alarming and are the latest confirmation of a worsening trend in costly disasters, many of which bear the undeniable fingerprints of climate change. They confirm what millions already know People across the country are told that the climate crisis is a deadly and costly reality today. And our choices about where and how to build and develop are putting more people and property at risk. Without sharp cuts in greenhouse emissions and strong investments in climate resilience, The human and economic toll from this type of disaster will increase in the coming years. The year is not over yet, as the busiest part of the hurricane season has just begun, making it likely that these numbers will rise even further.

“The release of this data follows FEMA’s request to Congress to urgently allocate additional funds for disaster assistance as it is set to run out of money this month. This type of stressful situation is likely to occur year after year as change intensifies. It is imperative that US policymakers invest more in getting out of disasters before they strike rather than in forcing communities to pick themselves up after they happen.While recent legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act and the Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act include some financing for climate resilience , however, it is vastly insufficient given the scale of the national challenge we face.Congress and the Biden administration must also ensure that funds reach communities disproportionately affected by climate damage, including low-income communities and communities of color.

“The science is clear that adapting to runaway climate change is an impossible feat, so we must also sharply reduce the use of fossil fuels that drive the climate crisis.”

If you have any questions or would like to arrange an interview with Dr. Cletus, please contact UCS Director of Media for Climate and Energy Ashley Sievert Nunes. UCS also has experts available who can talk about:

  • The relationship between climate change and extreme weather events, such as frequent and intense extreme heat, wildfires, drought, storms, and floods.
  • Why UCLA coined the term “danger season” to describe a new reality: a series of extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change that tend to concentrate and collide with each other during the summer months.
  • What can local, state, and federal governments do to reduce carbon emissions, transform the economy, and ensure communities are appropriately prepared for climate change?
  • How can the United States fulfill its climate pledge under the Paris Agreement to cut its emissions at least 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels over the next seven years.
  • Modern attribution science shows the responsibility of fossil fuel companies for climate impacts and damages.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *