Global warming’s hurricane cost in U.S. = $14 billion and still growing


Click to enlargeAP/David J Phillip

Climate change has added billions to the toll of hurricane strikes on the U.S., according to a study that challenges the prevailing scientific view that the rising cost is mainly because more buildings, towns and businesses are in the way.

Stronger, more frequent storms may have accounted for as much as $14 billion of hurricane damage in 2005, the year Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, according to research published Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience. The cost, as much as 12 percent of total U.S. damage that year, is over and above what can be explained by coastal development alone, the scientists said.

“The main message is we have to be more cautious with climate change and reassess our estimates of how much it’s going to cost us,” lead author Francisco Estrada, an economist at National Autonomous University of Mexico…

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