Record-Setting Extreme Weather
Overflowing rivers swollen by persistent rains. Over a million acres scorched by wildfires. Mighty blizzards blanketing the Northeast. One hundred ninety-nine tornadoes in a single day. The weather outside was not just frightful, but also costly. Although the number of extreme weather events have been increasing all over the world in the past few years, in 2011 the U.S. set a record in weather-related damage with 12 catastrophes that cost at least $1 billion each. The damage from the May 22 tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo., alone could top $3 billion.
Extreme weather events have hit other nations hard as well, including Pakistan, the Philippines and Australia, which have all seen heavy flooding. All the events have convinced many experts that with climate change, the weather will, unfortunately, only get worse.—Rose Eveleth
See our In-Depth Report, "Extreme Weather and Climate Change"
Image of Hurricane Irene: NOAA
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