The United States suffered a record $306 billion in damage from weather and climate disasters during 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria pummeled the U.S. Gulf Coast and the Caribbean; wildfires and mudslides leveled miles of land and property in California; snowstorms paralyzed the Northeast; and tornadoes tore through Central and Southeastern states.
And its expected to get worse. Katrina-magnitude events will double due to climate warming over the 20th century, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The United States Environmental Protection Agency found that extreme rainfall has risen substantially since 1990, with such events seeping into a larger portion of the country each decade. Another study from PNAS found that climate change has contributed to drier forests in the West, doubling the area burned by wildfires.