Extreme weather disasters fueled by climate change killed at least 474 people and caused more than $165 billion in damages across the U.S. in 2022, NOAA scientists said Tuesday. The annual billion-dollar disaster report is a key indicator of the present costs of inaction to address the climate crisis and the 2022 total, adjusted for inflation, is the third-most expensive year since NOAA began compiling data 43 years ago.
“People are seeing the impacts of a changing climate system where they live, work and play on a regular basis,” NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad told reporters. “With a changing climate buckle up. More extreme events are expected.”
Also Tuesday, Munich Re reported insured losses from hurricanes and flooding totaled $120 billion worldwide in 2022. Last year was the fifth-warmest on record and the last eight years have been the hottest eight years on record. (U.S.: AP, The Guardian, Bloomberg $, The Conversation, CNN, Politico Pro $, The Hill; Munich Re: Reuters, Climate Home, The Hill, Bloomberg $; Years: Bloomberg $, Washington Post $, New York Times $, The Hill, CNN, FT $)