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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

Extreme weather events and climate change

This is a great feature from the National Resources Defense Council. It's an interactive map showing all the record weather events from the last year. According to the NRDC, "in 2011, there were at least 2,941 monthly weather records broken by extreme events that struck communities in the US."

The map shows record snowfalls, record rainfalls, record high and low temperatures, and the affected range from disastrous events like floods, droughts and wildfire. While the image is a summary of the year -- click here to watch a time-lapse video of 2011's record-busting weather, and to look at detailed summaries of extreme events in your state.

From the NRDC: 2011 has been a year of unparalleled extremes: 14 disastrous weather events in the US so far this year have resulted in over a billion dollars in property damage – an all-time record breaking number – and their estimated $53 billion price tag doesn’t include health costs. As shown recently, in a first-of-its-kind study published in the journal Health Affairs1, when health-related costs of extreme events are calculated, the total tally increases substantially and will likely continue to climb due to climate change. 7 of the 2011 extreme events – a record-high number – are the type expected to worsen due to climate change.

Check it out to find your area.

NRDC concludes "emergency planning must incorporate risks from climate change. For example, maps describing flooding zones need to account for increased risks caused by extreme rainfall and sea level rise resulting from climate change. While these plans are made at the local level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) must also prioritize addressing and preparing for climate change by providing guidance and resources to state and local governments."



Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.