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Mapping How Weather Disasters Have Gotten Progressively Worse Over The Past 33 Years

It’s hard to point to any one weather disaster and say definitively that it’s related to climate change. But it’s not your imagination: the number of major weather-related disasters in the U.S. has been steadily increasing over the past few decades. For evidence, check out the NOAA National Climatic Data Center’s series of maps showing the number of billion dollar weather disasters that have occurred every year since 1980.

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Below, all the disasters in 1980:


Here are all the disasters in 1985:


And in 1990:


Finally, in 2013:


In case you need a reminder, here are the billion dollar disasters that plagued us this past year, from the Colorado floods to the heat wave and drought in the U.S.


Not every year has had more disasters than the years immediately prior, but the trend is there. The weather is less stable than it was 30 years ago, and it’s racking up some pretty big bills. Presumably, it’s a problem that won’t get better anytime soon.

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