Is Sever Weather Really Getting Worse?

  • What does the chart above say about the severity of the weather?

  • Mercury

    This chart isn't very meaningful in terms of gauging the importance of a single variable (i.e. severe weather frequency/magnitude).

    Let's say over the next 10 years the US converted 30% of it's wealth into a collection of fancy, ceramics housed in shoddily constructed buildings up and down the coast of Florida. Over the same period no hurricanes make US landfall and the weather, season after season, all over the world is just like Al Gore remembered it as an innocent child. Then, in 2029 a CAT 2 hurricane hits Florida, leveling all of those shoddy beachfront buildings and destroying our prized, national collection of fancy ceramics.

    In that case there would be a huge spike in weather related losses amidst the mildest stretch of weather in recorded history.

  • SamWah

    ABSOLUTELY. You wouldn't BELIEVE the hot/cold/wet/dry my area's been experiencing!

  • My whole life, hurricanes have been a known possibility due to where I live. But it seems to me the propagandists are hoping no one notices they take normal climate events and try to spin them. This is not only climate propaganda, but also a way for politician to escape responsibility. They used to keep the levees strong and they could get the flood water pumped out in three days; now they just tell everybody to evacuate.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    Severity of the weather would generally be expected to correlate positively with weather related monetary losses(storm damage, crop losses, that sort of thing).

  • craftman

    I would think this understates the actual severity of weather since it is measured as % GDP, but I could see it going both ways. On the one hand a wealthier population puts more of its wealth into things like vacation houses, boats, etc. located in hurricane prone areas which makes the losses skew higher than they should over time. On the other hand the increased wealth located in those areas may be used to fund houses that are more strongly built and able to withstand the more minor of storms, so you'd expect losses to go down.

    But taking a guess from U.S. anec-data...wealthy people keep rebuilding fancy Florida beach homes because the government severely underprices flood insurance, so I am leaning towards the former being the more decisive variable.

  • Peabody

    The climate alarmists have created a spin that increasing global temperatures creates both hotter and colder temperatures. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before increasing global temperatures are the cause for both increases and decreases in natural disasters.

  • Mercury

    ...unless the severe weather mostly happened in places where we haven't stacked much wealth.

  • davesmith001

    We would expect that the correlation between human wealth location and severe weather location has not changed since 1990. If it has not, then the graph still makes its point. If, on the other hand, humans have made a conscience effort to build away from weather, then your point would be relevant. Either way, however, those who claim an increase in severe weather over the last generation or two would still need to address the information in graphs like this one.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    Unless the areas in question are completely uninhabited, with no man made structures, weather related monetary losses should still positively correlate with the severity of weather.

  • Maximum Liberty

    And technological improvement over time should help reduce losses in ways that are difficult to trace back to technological improvement.

  • Dan Wendlick

    Not really. Storms of similar intensity striking Florida will produce more dollar-denominated property damage but fewer deaths than if they strike Bangladesh. similarly a typhoon hitting Hong Kong or Shanghai will cause more monetary damage than one striking Viet Nam or Borneo. It's the nature of the infrastructure and property values, more than the storm intensity that controls these variables.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    You are considering the wrong factor for comparison. Low intensity storms will cause less damage than a high intensity storm at a given location, whether that location is Hong Kong or Borneo.

    That you get higher damages at any intensity at wealthier locations is not relevant.

  • CapnRusty

    Weather isn't getting worse, but spell-checkers are.