Last week, we spent some time talking about hurricane season and the impacts climate change has had on the intensity and hazards that come along with the season. In this week’s Two Degree Difference, we’re focusing on the cost of climate change during hurricane season.
After last week’s Two Degree Difference segment, we know many ways that climate change and our warming climate are contributing to intense hurricane season after intense hurricane season. The driving influences of a warming ocean and rising sea level are just two minor contributors to the overall intensity of hurricanes or any tropical systems. As long as the waters stay warm and seas continue to rise, our hurricanes will stay intense and storm surge will continue to be deadly.
Speaking of which, tropical cyclones are becoming the most costly and hazardous events. The toll of 56 tropical cyclone events since the 1980s reveals nearly 7,000 lives lost and more than 1 trillion dollars in damages. The cost of damage during hurricane season accounts for more than half of the total coast of all billion dollar weather and climate disasters that have impacted the U.S. since the ’80s. Unfortunately, with a very busy tropical season forecast for this summer, it looks like the dollar signs will continue to grow with each and every devastating disaster.