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Hail Hysteria: Why Rising Insurance Costs Are Not Linked to ‘Climate Driven’ Hail Storms

Climate Depot Special Report

Full 19-page Special-Report-on-Hailstorms

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A slew of damaging hailstorms throughout Texas and portions of the U.S. Great Plains in recent weeks have sparked conversation once again about how human-caused climate change is supposedly “supercharging” our weather, making incidents of severe convective storms both more extreme and more dangerous to human life and property. This is said to be driving insurance companies to exclude protections for property damage incurred by specific types of weather (e.g., damaging wind and/or hail); raise monthly premiums and deductibles on homeowners located in high-risk, disaster-prone regions; or even to refuse to write new home insurance policies, or to cancel policyholders’ existing plans altogether in order to remain profitable, thanks to significant financial setbacks in recent years on properties that they agreed to pay compensation for if damaged.

 

Unsurprisingly, the storyline that activist journalists in the news media have decided to run with is that anthropogenic climate change is the malefactor in driving up home insurance costs. However, a careful examination of the available meteorological data that government scientists have collected and compiled shows no indication that global warming has resulted in a detectable increase in either the frequency or intensity of extreme events, or, more specifically for this report, the number of damaging hail and windstorms in the U.S. As a matter of fact, the number of damaging hail reports have decreased over the last 14-years, and the number of damaging wind reports has held constant over that same period. 

 

Thus, the increase in storm damage over the last two decades is more appropriately linked to the fact that there is simply more “stuff” to destroy now, as humans continue to place an ever-increasing amount of wealth in Mother Nature’s destructive path. Rising insurance costs are due to a combination of factors, including, but not limited to increased exposure to the elements, rapid inflation, and rising repair costs. To mitigate future economic losses and reduce societal vulnerability, public policy will need to center around becoming resilient to natural hazards by investing in our infrastructure, as well as updating building and zoning codes in high-risk areas. The emergency manager angle of attacking this problem will prove far more effective than taking “climate action” to reach net zero emissions in the U.S. by 2050. The latter would be costly, ineffective and, put simply, a waste of time.

 

 

KEY POINTS

  • Insurance companies lose billions of dollars each year on home insurance policies due to the increasing amount of damage to insured properties caused by extreme weather.
  • Huge financial and economic losses are forcing insurers to raise monthly premiums, exclude protections or drop home insurance coverage altogether. Smaller companies have even pulled coverage out of entire states as a result of financial burdens.
  • Despite the claims made by journalists that human-induced climate change is “turbocharging” the weather, making meteorological extremes including damaging hail and windstorms more severe and destructive, the evidence presented in the latest scientific assessment report published by United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and data accessed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Storm Prediction Center (SPC) do not support these claims.
  • In a warming climate, the risk for damaging hail should actually decrease due to a higher freezing level and an eventual decrease in convective updraft power in thunderstorms due to the eventual quasi-stabilization of the troposphere.
  • The destructive power of storms has increased almost exclusively due to increased societal exposure. Rising insurance costs are linked to the aforementioned increased exposure, sky-high inflation and increasing construction. Future resilience requires effective mitigation measures, none of which should focus on reducing emissions.

RISING INSURANCE COSTS

As with any industry, the insurance industry is for-profit. Their primary objective is to maximize returns (profits) and minimize economic and/or financial losses. There are two ways by which insurers can maximize profits: (a) reduce actual risk through the cancelation of existing policies, underwriting excluded protections for damage inflicted by specific types of weather events (e.g., severe hail or convective windstorms) or pulling their coverage out of a state entirely; or (b), increase perceived risk by raising monthly premiums and deductibles, or refusing to write new home insurance policies to homeowners altogether.

 

Risk, as is taught in any college-level emergency management course, is defined as the probability of occurrence (e.g., a natural hazard such as a hurricane landfall accompanied by damaging winds and storm surge, or a severe weather outbreak associated with tornadoes, damaging hail and wind gusts) multiplied by the consequences (e.g., injury or death, property damage and/or economic losses). It is possible for a high-probability event in a sparsely populated region to have the same amount of risk as a low-probability event in a densely populated region. But, if the probability of occurrence and/or possible consequences are increased, risk increases. In an insurance contract, a risk is a threat that the insurer agrees to pay compensation to cover the cost of repairs should an accident or natural disaster happen.

 

Already this year, severe storms have caused over $100 billion in hail and wind damage across the U.S., mainly in the Great Plains states and Texas. This has sparked conversation once again about how climate change is allegedly fueling these extreme events, making them more common, intense and destructive than ever. Par for the course, homeowners are having to shall out more money to pay for homeowner’s insurance coverage, as property damage and loss have escalated over the last two decades, forcing insurers to adjust to these changing conditions by raising their monthly premiums, excluding protections or withdrawing home insurance policies in some states to stay afloat. Passionate science and economics journalists have used this to mint the narrative that this is all because of the “climate crisis.”

 

Presented below are a random selection of some headlines:

 

On September 3, 2023, The Washington Post’s economic policy expert, Jacob Bogage, ran a story where he claimed:

 

“At least five large U.S. property insurers — including Allstate, American Family, Nationwide, Erie Insurance Group and Berkshire Hathaway — have told regulators that extreme weather patterns caused by climate change have led them to stop writing coverages in some regions, exclude protections from various weather events and raise monthly premiums and deductibles.”

 

Then in early April of this year, Market Realist stated:

 

“The average home insurance premiums are set to reach a record high in the US this year. According to data from Insurify, an insurance comparison platform, the average premiums are set to hit $2,522 by the end of the year, driven majorly by climate change which has intensified natural disasters, causing insurers to hike premiums or pull back entirely … As climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather, insurers in the most impacted areas are taking measures to cut costs. Apart from raising premiums, some insurers are pulling out altogether, further impacting the affordability and availability of home and fire insurance.”

 

A few days later on April 7, the Financial Times wrote:

 

“Home insurance is becoming increasingly unaffordable in areas such as California and Australia, as global warming has made storms, floods and wildfires more frequent and severe.”

 

More recently, The New York Times’ Christopher Flavelle and Mira Rojanasakul echoed these sentiments on May 13 in an interactive piece:

 

“Relatively consistent weather once made Iowa a good bet for insurance companies. But now, as a warming planet makes events like hail and wind storms worse, insurers are fleeing … The insurance turmoil caused by climate change — which had been concentrated in Florida, California and Louisiana — is fast becoming a contagion, spreading to states like Iowa, Arkansas, Ohio, Utah and Washington. Even in the Northeast, where homeowners insurance was still generally profitable last year, the trends are worsening.”

 

And, then Bloomberg.com published this a couple of days ago on May 20:

 

As the climate has warmed, there’s been an increase in the ingredients that make up hail storms: more instability in the atmosphere and stronger updrafts.”

 

This surge in hysterical newspaper columns about climate change being linked to rising insurance costs comes at the heels of a recent string of damaging hail-producing severe thunderstorms that have inflicted tens of millions of dollars in damage across portions of Texas and the Great Plains since late March.

 

Indeed, on the evening of March 13, a severe thunderstorm traversed through portions of northeast Kansas and Missouri, dropping baseball-sized hail in the Kansas City metro area, with additional storm spotter reports of three-inch diameter hail falling in the vicinity of Junction City and Fort Riley, Kansas.[1] Even softball-sized hail of about four inches in diameter was observed in Wabaunsee, Kansas.[1] Just two days later, another round of thunderstorms produced a damaging hailstorm in the Houston, Texas, metropolis causing significant damage to the relatively new 350-megawatt Fighting Jays Solar Farm, which sits atop 3,000 acres of land.[2] Within minutes, hundreds of solar cells were destroyed, leaving locals concerned that toxic chemicals may leach into the soil and water tables. Then, on May 9, an onslaught of severe storms brought damaging hail to central Texas.[3] Hail over five inches in diameter was measured in Blanco and Hays counties, with one hailstone measuring 6.25 inches in diameter, nearly matching the state record of 6.40 inches from Hondo set fairly recently on April 28, 2021.[3][4] The hail blew out windows on numerous homes and businesses. There were widespread resident reports of vehicular, home and tree damage, and downed power lines across central Texas in the aftermath of Mother Nature’s wrath.

 

In 2022, large hail caused in excess of $300 million in damage in Texas alone.[5] And, last June, baseball-sized hail destroyed a solar farm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, which took six months to repair.[6] 

 

While insurance companies remain profitable on car and life insurance policies, the increase in hail damage over the past 20 years, notably across the Great Plains and Midwest, has resulted in a number of companies losing millions of dollars each year on homeowners. This leaves them with no choice but to raise monthly premiums, cut back on home insurance coverage or, in the case of smaller companies, exit certain states altogether. In addition, the increasing price tag of hail damage is wreaking havoc on the solar industry. Solar operators have been struggling to find solutions to make their panels more weather resilient to reduce hail-related risks.

 

ANALYZING THE “MORE BILLION-DOLLAR DISASTERS” CLAIM

The NOAA has published an annual tally of the number of weather and climate disasters in the U.S. that resulted in at least one billion dollars in damage since 1996,[7] with data going back to 1980. Up until 2011, NOAA only included meteorological disasters that, at the time of their occurrence, inflicted at least one billion dollars in damage, with values were later adjusted for inflation in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).[8] Following criticism by some economics experts, namely Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., a political scientist and professor of economics at the University of Colorado Boulder, they adjusted their data methodology to correct for this error.[8] Since then, NOAA’s CPI-adjusted United States Billion-Dollar Disaster Events time series[9] (Fig. 1) has become a staple among news media outlets as a climate change indicator, and it was even cited in the Fifth U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA5) as evidence of an increasing number of extreme weather events, stating in Chapter 2 that:[10]

 

“The number and cost of weather-related disasters have increased dramatically over the past four decades, in part due to the increasing frequency and severity of extreme events and in part due to increases in exposure and vulnerability. In 2022 alone, the United States experienced 18 weather and climate disasters with damages exceeding $1 billion. There is increasing confidence that changes in some extreme events are driven by human-caused climate change.”

Upon careful examination, however, it becomes patently obvious that there is one glaring shortfall that remains in regard to the how the plot in Fig. 1 above was produced: it overlooks the fact that there have been significant increases in societal exposure to natural hazards in recent decades due to changes in the placement of wealth due to urban sprawl and spatial distribution of the human population (e.g., Smith and Katz, 2013).[11] Even NOAA admits this on their FAQ page,[12] but fails to account for this when crunching the numbers, putting together this dataset and making daringly bold claims of extreme event trend detection and attribution to anthropogenic climate change (e.g., Pielke, 2024).[13] On a time-dependent basis, this means that the periodicity of extreme events could in theory remain constant, but due to ever-increasing exposure, when an extreme event does occur, there’s invariably a higher price to pay.

 

For a fair historical comparison of disaster losses, the most common and perhaps most useful approach to normalize losses is to calculate them as a percentage of the annual nationwide or global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (e.g., Neumayer and Barthel, 2011[14]; Pielke, 2019[15]; and Alstadt et al., 2021[16]). Each of these studies found that both globally and in the U.S., disaster losses as a proportion of GDP have actually decreased over the last few decades, suggesting that we have become somewhat effective at mitigating losses as a percentage of total wealth, but not in absolute terms.

 

The conclusion in Neumayer and Barthel (2011) reads:

 

“… in general we find no significant upward trends in normalized disaster damage over the period 1980 to 2009 globally, regionally, for specific disasters or for specific disasters in specific regions. Due to our inability to control for defensive mitigation measures, one cannot infer from our analysis that there have definitely not been more frequent and/or more intensive weather-related natural hazards over the study period already. Moreover, it may still be far too early to detect a trend if human-induced climate change has only just started and will gain momentum over time.”

 

And, from the abstract of Pielke (2019):

 

“… since 1990 both overall and weather/climate losses have decreased as [a] proportion of global GDP, indicating progress with respect to the SDG indicator. Extending this trend into the future will require vigilance to exposure, vulnerability and resilience in the face of uncertainty about the future frequency and magnitude of extreme events.”

 

Thus, based upon a review of the literature, it becomes self-evident that the overall increase in absolute number and cost of natural disasters has increased by a factor of four since the 1980s primarily because of increased societal vulnerability, not because of human-caused climate change.

 

WHAT ABOUT TRENDS IN DAMAGING HAIL AND WINDSTORMS?

Based on the CPI-adjusted disaster losses conveyed in Fig. 1, damage from “severe storms” (i.e., large hail ≥1 inch in diameter, and, to some extent, convective wind gusts associated with thunderstorm outflow) increasingly dominates the mix in correspondence to the event types contributing to annual insured losses in the U.S., something The New York Times made note of in their May 13th analysis.

 

Therefore, in spite of the fact that disaster losses normalized as a percentage of GDP have decreased since 1980, one might still naturally wonder whether or not there has been an actual measurable increase in the frequency of hail or windstorms here in the U.S. And, in addition, assuming that the climate continues to warm, can we expect more frequent and/or intense hails and windstorms in the future? Despite the vague, unsourced claims that severe thunderstorms and their byproducts, large hail and damaging wind, are becoming more common and/or extreme with global warming, the short answer to both of these questions is a resounding, “NO.”

 

NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) keeps a detailed record of severe weather reports, including hail, dating back to 1950.[17] However, if one considers that there are roughly 181 million more people living in the U.S. now than there were in 1950; the fact that detection of large hail by weather radar technology improved significantly with the introduction of WSR-88D, which became operational in the early-1990s; and the reality that just about everyone has an iPhone or Android device on hand, equipped with a camera ready to capture anything, it should be unsurprising that there has been a notable increase in the number of hail, damaging wind and tornado reports since recordkeeping commenced in 1950. So, without normalization to ensure the best data homogeneity, data only since 2010 was considered for this analysis, mind you as per Fig. 1, reported hail damage has increased, even since then.

 

The bar chart below (Fig. 2) shows a time series of annual hail reports submitted to the SPC since 2010. What is crystal clear from this analysis is that hail reports have actually decreased over the last decade and a half—and not by a little, but by roughly 2,340 reports per decade using a simple linear trendline analysis.

Obviously, with data inhomogeneities, the data presented in Fig. 2 is temporally narrow in scope, and trying to model a highly complex, nonlinear, multivariate system with a linear regression curve is inappropriate, especially given the coefficient of determination (commonly referred to as the R2-value) is relatively weak at 0.356. This suggests that the statistical model used is insufficient at prediction. Thus, this negative trend may flatline or reverse course in the future. That notwithstanding, there is no indication at this time from the data compiled that hailstorms have become more frequent over the last 14 years in the U.S.

 

To complement these results, Working Group 1 from the United Nations’ latest sixth scientific assessment report, IPCC AR6 WG1, found low confidence in the direction of change for past trends in respect to both hail and severe windstorm activity.[18] This information is shown in Table 12.12 on page 1856 (Fig. 3).[18]


What’s more, IPCC AR6 also summarizes projected changes in these different climate impact-drivers (CIDs) as emerging by 2050 and by 2100 using the high-emissions RCP8.5/SSP5-8.5 scenario.[18] Even under the most extreme and highly improbable scenario, no projected increase in hail or severe windstorm frequency and/or intensity is expected to emerge by 2100 on a global scale. Table 12.8 on page 1835 (Fig. 4) breaks this down further, detailing projected direction of changes in CIDs over North America with differing levels of confidence.[18] By mid-century, the convective conditions needed for severe windstorms are projected to increase in western, central and eastern North America, whereas no trends in hail are projected for any geographical region.

What should be cautioned about these projections, however, is that these are forecasts mostly based on general circulation model (GCM) simulations. This means that they are not fact and therefore should be taken with a grain of salt. However, that doesn’t mean that these projections will be wrong; until the date(s) come to pass, forecasts are unfalsifiable, meaning that they cannot be proven correct or incorrect.

 

However, if global warming theory is understood—and is assumed to be correct—one can reason out that with increased climate warming in response to greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing, the severe hail threat would actually be greatly reduced. But why?

 

First, let’s consider that hail initially begins as a snowflake, which then either partially or completely melts as it falls through a cumulonimbus cloud, then refreezes as it gets caught in a powerful convective updraft. A single hailstone may make several trips up and down through the cloud, accumulating multiple layers of ice via accretion in the process, before it inevitably becomes too heavy, and acceleration due to gravity overpowers the updraft, cementing the hailstone’s eventual fall to Earth’s surface.

 

However, to get hail to reach the ground, either the freezing level must be low enough such that a hailstone doesn’t have enough time to melt before striking the ground, or the hailstone must be large enough that it physically cannot melt entirely through even a relatively large column of warm air.


  • Perhaps most obviously, global warming would raise the freezing altitude such that the threat for hail, particularly smaller hail, is significantly reduced.
  • Global warming theory also suggests that increased GHG forcing helps to actually eventually stabilize the troposphere, not destabilize it.


Let’s take a look at point number two a little bit closer, shall we?

 

To get large hail (diameter ≥1 inch) requires intense thunderstorm updrafts with speeds of approximately 22 ms-1 (50 mph).[19] The prerequisite for powerful updrafts is a thermodynamically unstable atmosphere—that is, the air temperature must fall rapidly with increasing altitude and/or there must be a large vertical moisture gradient (i.e., increased low-level moisture since moist air is lighter and therefore more buoyant than dry air at the same temperature and pressure) to promote convection. The greater the thermal and/or moisture gradient, the more rapidly a positively buoyant fluid air parcel will accelerate up and away from the surface, and consequently, the greater the updraft velocity.

 

Increased flux of downwelling longwave radiation in response to GHG forcing would, in theory, at least initially make fluid parcels more buoyant by warming pockets of air adjacent to the surface. However, eventually, enhanced convection would release enough heat into the middle to upper-levels of the troposphere via latent heat of condensation that the atmosphere reaches a semi-steady equilibrium state. If the bulk warming occurs in the mid-to-upper troposphere, that reduces the lapse rate and helps to stabilize the atmosphere. In turn, this would result in a reduction of updraft speed. We know this because virtually all climate models (Fig. 5) indicate that (a) the mid-to-upper troposphere should warm at the greatest rate (assessed in degrees Celsius per decade) in response to GHG forcing, particularly over the tropical latitudes at the 150 to 400-hPa pressure levels, and (b), this should have already occurred (e.g., McKitrick and Christy, 2018) in the historical observational record.[20] However, this has not materialized.

While global warming would also theoretically increase the moisture content of the air, particularly in the lower troposphere, which would, as aforementioned, destabilize the atmosphere, two new studies, Simpson et al., 2023[21] and Xu et al., 2024[22], have found that there has been little to no global-scale increase in near-surface specific humidity or vapor pressure, respectively, over the last 20 years, in spite of warming.

 

Therefore, one can reasonably conclude from this information that in general, the environmental conditions required for severe hail formation aren’t increasing globally, nor should they be expected to in the future, assuming that global warming continues.

 

SO, WHY THE HIGHER INSURANCE COSTS?

Insurance companies do admit that they have to remain profitable to remain in business—as is the case with any industry that seeks to stay afloat. This means that insurers have to adjust their monthly premiums and deductibles, and underwrite homeowners’ insurance policies in accordance with vexations such as inflation and increasing repair costs. Additionally, the development of homes in disaster-prone regions increases the likelihood that they will be damaged or destroyed by a natural hazard. Insurers calculate this as high-risk, and therefore don’t want to risk bankrupting their companies due to what would have been an avoidable financial loss in the event of a disaster.

 

However, that doesn’t mean that the insurance industry’s hands are entirely clean. As mentioned above, insurance companies are for-profit, meaning that they are more than capable of defrauding the public to make a quick buck. One way in which they can do this is by blaming the “climate crisis” for driving, or, at the very least, fueling the alleged rise in extreme weather events causing an increasing amount of economic and financial loss with each passing year. If climate change is expected to “fuel” extreme weather, insurance companies use that perceived risk as an excuse to charge their policyholders higher premiums to increase returns.

 

Even so, to avoid accusations of fraud and running into ugly drawn-out legal battles, the insurance industry goes through third party economists or “insurance industry experts” who customarily make these assertions during news media interviews. Journalists eat it up and proceed to spread this misinformation without asking questions or digging deeper by going straight to the source. This is because almost every mainstream media outlet receives funding from anti-fossil fuel groups and “green” energy lobbyists to push their narrative that climate change is causing homeowners to pay more for their insurance, in hopes that this will finally convince the general public to vote in accordance with [generally] left-of-center politicians who claim to be “pro-environment” and for whom the mainstream media acts as a mouthpiece.

 

FINAL REMARKS

There’s no doubt that the insurance industry is increasingly reluctant to provide home insurance coverage in certain regions due to severe financial losses in recent years, and many homeowners are undoubtedly burdened by rising premium rates or the inability to find coverage. Indeed, it is a serious issue plaguing society, and it necessitates our attention. Be that as it may, finger-pointing climate change as the culprit for changing conditions is extremely unhelpful in actually addressing the problem at hand.

 

The available meteorological data government scientists have compiled shows no indication that global warming is increasing the number or the intensity of extreme weather events. Increasing exposure to natural hazards, however, underscores the importance of becoming weather-resilient by investing in hardy infrastructure and bettering local zoning codes. Addressing real-world problems requires real-world solutions to be effective in measure; hyperventilating over non-existent problems will get us nowhere.


REFERENCES:

[1] “‘Gorilla Hail’: Storm Dropping Massive Hail Batters Kansas, Missouri.” Pasadena Star News, March 14, 2024. https://www.pasadenastarnews.com/2024/03/14/storm-dropping-massive-hail-batters-kansas-missouri/.

 

[2] IER. “Hail Storm Cripples Solar Panel Facility in Texas.” Institute for Energy Research, April 8, 2024. https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/hail-storm-cripples-solar-panel-facility-in-texas/

 

[3] Brolley, Tara, and Stephanie Becerra. “Baseball-Size Hail Hits Central Texas, Causing Significant Power Outages and Damage.” KEYE CBS Austin, May 10, 2024. https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/13000-without-power-in-san-marcos-baseball-size-hail-hits-central-texas.

 

[4] [email protected]. “State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC).” State Climate Extremes Committee (SCEC) | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Accessed May 22, 2024. 

https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/scec/records/tx/haild.

 

[5] Reyk, Rosa van. “How the Solar Industry Can Avoid a Repeat of Last Year’s Natural Catastrophe Destruction.” Solar Power World, May 15, 2023. 

https://www.solarpowerworldonline.com/2023/05/how-us-solar-can-avoid-a-repeat-of-last-years-natural-catastrophe-destruction/.

 

[6] “Scottsbluff Community Solar Array Damaged in June 2023 Hailstorm Is Back Online.” Star Herald, January 8, 2024. 

https://starherald.com/news/local/business/development/scottsbluff-community-solar-array-damaged-in-june-2023-hailstorm-is-back-online/article_232bd84c-ae5c-11ee-87a6-0f4837caa473.html.

 

[7] Lott, Neal, and Tom Ross. “Tracking and Evaluating U.S. Billion Dollar Weather Disasters, 1980-2005.” National Centers for Environmental Information, January 30, 2006. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/billions/docs/lott-and-ross-2006.pdf.

 

[8] Samenow, Jason. “2011 Billion Dollar Weather Disaster Record: Legit or Bad Economics?” The Washington Post, January 12, 2012. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/2011-billion-dollar-weather-disaster-record-legit-or-bad-economics/2012/01/12/gIQADocztP_blog.html.

 

[9] NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2024). https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/, DOI: 10.25921/stkw-7w73.

 

[10] Marvel, K., W. Su, R. Delgado, S. Aarons, A. Chatterjee, M.E. Garcia, Z. Hausfather, K. Hayhoe, D.A. Hence, E.B. Jewett, A. Robel, D. Singh, A. Tripati, and R.S. Vose, 2023: Ch. 2. Climate trends. In: Fifth National Climate Assessment. Crimmins, A.R., C.W. Avery, D.R. Easterling, K.E. Kunkel, B.C. Stewart, and T.K. Maycock, Eds. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC, USA. https://doi.org/10.7930/NCA5.2023.CH2.

 

[11] Smith, Adam B., and Richard W. Katz. “US Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Data Sources, Trends, Accuracy and Biases.” Natural Hazards 67, no. 2 (February 3, 2013): 387–410. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-013-0566-5. (open-access PDF here).

 

[12] NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2024). https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/billions/, DOI: 10.25921/stkw-7w73. FAQ page here.

 

[13] Pielke, Roger. “Scientific Integrity and U.S. ‘Billion Dollar Disasters.’” Natural Hazards, March 12, 2024. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/3yf7b.

 

[14] Neumayer, Eric, and Fabian Barthel. “Normalizing Economic Loss from Natural Disasters: A Global Analysis.” Global Environmental Change 21, no. 1 (February 2011): 13–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.10.004.

 

[15] Pielke, Roger. “Tracking Progress on the Economic Costs of Disasters under the Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals.” Environmental Hazards 18, no. 1 (October 27, 2018): 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1080/17477891.2018.1540343. (open-access PDF here).

 

[16] Alstadt, Brian, Anthony Hanson, and Austin Nijhuis. “Developing a Global Method for Normalizing Economic Loss from Natural Disasters.” Natural Hazards Review 23, no. 1 (February 2022). https://doi.org/10.1061/(asce)nh.1527-6996.0000522.

 

[17] “Preliminary Severe Weather Report Database.” NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center, May 22, 2024. https://www.spc.noaa.gov/climo/summary/.

 

[18] Ranasinghe, R., A.C. Ruane, R. Vautard, N. Arnell, E. Coppola, F.A. Cruz, S. Dessai, A.S. Islam, M. Rahimi, D. Ruiz Carrascal, J. Sillmann, M.B. Sylla, C. Tebaldi, W. Wang, and R. Zaaboul, 2021: Climate Change Information for Regional Impact and for Risk Assessment. In Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson-Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S.L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M.I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J.B.R. Matthews, T.K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu, and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, pp. 1767–1926, doi: 10.1017/9781009157896.014.

 

[19] “Thunderstorm Hazards – Hail.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, February 8, 2024. https://www.noaa.gov/jetstream/hail.

 

[20] McKitrick, Ross, and John Christy. “A Test of the Tropical 200 to 300hPa Warming Rate in Climate Models.” Earth and Space Science 5, no. 9 (September 2018): 529–36. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018ea000401.

 

[21] Simpson, Isla R., Karen A. McKinnon, Daniel Kennedy, David M. Lawrence, Flavio Lehner, and Richard Seager. “Observed Humidity Trends in Dry Regions Contradict Climate Models.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 121, no. 1 (December 26, 2023). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2302480120.

 

[22] Xu, Wenfang, Xiaosheng Xia, Shilong Piao, Donghai Wu, Weibiao Li, Song Yang, and Wenping Yuan. “Weakened Increase in Global Nearsurface Water Vapor Pressure during the Last 20 Years.” Geophysical Research Letters 51, no. 2 (January 18, 2024). https://doi.org/10.1029/2023gl107909.

 

 

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