03 Aug '11, 12pm

The new normal: billion-dollar disasters: via @grist

The new normal: billion-dollar disasters: via @grist

Although some studies suggest that trends such as population increases, population shifts into higher risk areas, and increasing wealth have been the key factors in weather related disasters (as opposed to historical trends in the frequency or strength of such events), there is evidence that climate change may affect the frequency of certain extreme weather events. An increase in population and development in flood plains, along with an increase in heavy rain events in the U.S. during the past fifty years, have gradually increased the economic losses due to flooding. If the climate continues to warm, the increase in heavy rain events is likely to continue. While trends in extratropical cyclones are not clear, there are projections that the incidence of extreme droughts will increase if the climate warms throughout the 21st century.

Full article: http://www.grist.org/climate-change/2011-08-03-the-new-no...

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