In 2011, the U.S. saw more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s. There were 96 declared disasters this past year in the U.S. Ten years ago there were half that number.
- Droughts in the Southern United States: the drought is the nation’s costliest natural disaster this year at a total of $10 billion
- Mega-fires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas all recorded their biggest fires in 2011.
- In New York, Hurricane Irene will most likely prove to be one of the 10 costliest catastrophes in the nation’s history, due to massive flooding.
Climate change is like steroids for many extreme weather-related events like drought, floods, mega-fires, heat waves and rain. Many of these events get intensified and amplified in our new climate. Increased carbon pollution links to extreme changes in temperature and more intense droughts.
What Can We Do?
Forests keep our air and water clean, so helping protect them can help us mitigate climate change and prepare for the future. The Nature Conservancy is working to reduce global carbon pollution caused by deforestation- about 15% of the overall carbon pollution pie.
On Long Island, we are working on “The Costal Reliance Project” to keep New Yorker’s safe from sea level rise due to climate change.