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We know it was the hottest year on record (tied for the top spot with 2016), that the 2010’s were the hottest decade on record, and that the last 6 years have been the hottest ever. Now this grim total: in 2020 there were 22 weather and climate disasters, including a record 7 disasters linked to tropical cyclones, 13 to severe storms, 1 to drought, and 1 to wildfires. What did all that disaster cost: combined nearly $100 billion dollars in damage in one year.
Why This Matters: Climate change is getting more and more expensive each year. According to the National Climate Data Center, since 1980 the U.S. has experienced 285 weather and climate billion-dollar disasters, for a total cost of $1.875 trillion.
Here is everything you need to know in 4 charts.
2020 Shattered the Record for Most Billion-Dollar Events in a Year
Both the number and cost of weather and climate disasters are rising due to a combination of population growth and development on top of climate change.
California, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida are experiencing the worst of it.
Much of the country is experiencing both droughts and flooding – a double whammy.
Why This Matters: The world’s coffee “Bean Belt” is located in regions more vulnerable to the imminent impacts of climate change. Rising temperatures in areas between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer in countries worldwide are increasing disease and wiping out insects needed to pollinate coffee plants.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer After the German Constitutional Court ruled that the country’s climate plans weren’t sufficient, the government has announced its new plans: Cutting carbon emissions 65% by 2030 and 88% by 2040 (based on a 1990 baseline) Aiming for net-zero emissions by 2045, five years earlier than the initial target The […]
The world’s glaciers are melting faster than ever before, and it’s having significant consequences on the oceans, wildlife, and our coastlines. A study published Wednesday found that nearly all the world’s glaciers are melting, and some are withering at rates 31 percent higher than 15 years ago.
Why This Matters: As glaciers melt, habitats for critical species disappear, water sources deplete, coastlines recede, and dangerous glacial bursts threaten communities.
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