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Droughts

Grim 2022 Drought Outlook For Western US

Much of the western U.S. has been in the grip of an unrelenting drought since early 2020. The dryness has coincided with record-breaking wildfires, intense and long-lasting heat waves, low stream flows and dwindling water supplies in reservoirs that millions of people across the region rely on. Heading into summer, the outlook is pretty grim. The National Weather Service’s latest seasonal outlook, issued May 19, 2022, described drought persisting across most of the West and parts of the Great Plains. One driver of the Western drought has been persistent La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific since the summer of 2020. During La Niña, cooler tropical Pacific waters help nudge the jet stream northward.

Wildfire, Hurricanes, Floods And Droughts Quadrupled In Cost Since 1980

In the last 40 years, 663 disasters linked to climate change in the United States killed 14,223 people. The total cost: an estimated $1.77 trillion, a bit more than Canada's Gross National Product in 2018.  Economic losses in Europe resulting from climate-linked extreme weather from 1980 to 2017 were lower, totaling $537 billion. The difference was the cost of tropical storms, which don't affect Europe but accounted for nearly half of the U.S. total costs.  The report analyzed data going back to 1980 from several sources, including a database of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that catalogs climate disasters with costs of $1 billion or more and is continually updated. Only disasters with costs of that magnitude were included in the analysis.
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