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2017 Set a New Precedent for Natural Disasters

Floods, hurricanes, wildfires, drought, freezes, and tornadoes—the list of disasters that struck the United States this year covers every corner of the country.
December 30, 2017, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Texas Flood

"2017 is about to become the most expensive disaster year in US history, costing nearly $400 billion in damages," according to Umair Irfan and Brian Resnick.

"As of October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had counted 15 disasters with damages topping $1 billion, tying 2017 with 2011 for the most billion-dollar disasters in a year to date," they add. October was before the most recent rounds of California wildfires, however.

From these dire statistics (presented in the article in infographic form for additional reinforcement of the scale of the year's disasters), Irfan and Resnick pull several lessons about climate change. The big message: 2017 is likely a sign of things to come, call it the "new normal," as climate change takes hold.

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Published on Thursday, December 28, 2017 in Vox
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