By Katie Elyce Freeman
U.S. economic losses from extreme weather could at least double by 2050, according to an Oak Ridge National Laboratory analysis published this month in the online edition of the journal Global Environmental Change.
“A side effect of America’s growth has been the tendency to put more people, infrastructure and assets in harm’s way, and when a storm comes through, that increased exposure drives up economic losses,” said author Benjamin Preston, deputy director of ORNL’s Climate Change Science Institute, who studied historical data from more than 3,000 U.S. counties and used predictive modeling in the assessment. Preston works in impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability science, a field devoted to analyzing the effects of climate change on people, governments and industries. [Read more…]