2020 Breaks Another Record: Most Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

Graphic: Annabel Driussi for Our Daily Planet

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.

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