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  1. All Black

    The population has increased by 42% over the period, and average growth rates of 5% in GDP apply during the same period, and demographics mean more people are retiring to warm coastal areas which are high risk for tropical storms. All this means that a storm that would have done $200 damage in 1980 might do $500M damage today.

  2. James

    There are more people and property in vulnerable areas these days.

    EDIT: I wouldn't get too excited by this study, although it's amazing how many people are neglecting that it is, at least to first order, adjusted for inflation. Some problems with it are that "billion dollar events" depend very strongly on where they occur. Where I go to the beach and play volleyball, if the single block's worth of houses were wiped out it would be a billion dollar event, but some other location it may only be a ten million dollar event and wouldn't get counted.

    Also, billion dollar events are weighted equally with multi-billion dollar events, such as Katrina and Sandy, which doesn't seem quite right.

    The biggest problem is probably that there are few such events. If we assume a Poisson distribution then the standard deviation will roughly go as the square root of the number of events per time interval, which looks to be about 8 per year. Two standard deviations around that would cover all but 2011, I believe. If there were 1000 such events per year then it might be reasonable to look at, but there's nowhere near that many.

  3. Kano

    This is the kind of misleading B.S. that we see all the time.
    Did it not occur to you that a $500K weather disaster that happened in the 40's would cost more than $1Bn today.
    All this time series indicates, is the rising cost of repair, reconstruction, and the increased number of properties and people.

  4. sharif

    How do you account for the fact that there are less hurricanes hitting the US and less tornadoes and droughts? You want feeble minded people to think that the graph will scare them into thinking that if they keep using oil, gas and suv's the planet will be destroyed and governments will run out of money.

  5. Anonymous

    First of all we know that you have an alarmist cagw agenda. How do you account for the fact that there are less hurricanes hitting the US and less tornadoes and droughts? You want feeble minded people to think that the graph will scare them into thinking that if they keep using oil, gas and suv's the planet will be destroyed and governments will run out of money.

  6. graphicconception

    According to the IPCC: "Economic growth, including greater concentrations of people and wealth in periled areas and rising insurance penetration, is the most important driver of increasing losses."

  7. Anonymous

    Kind of difficult to read, but it seems to me that what James mentions is only part of the story. The biggest rate of growth over the period shown is in the number of severe storms, and that metric does not depend on numbers of vulnerable people or the value of properties afflicted. It is a quite steep upward trend over 35 years, and knowing that the science of climate suggests increased warming will increase severe storm frequency, that has to be a prime suspect for being a key, if not THE key, driving force behind at least that trend shown within the data graphically presented.

  8. Keef Rules

    The more structures and capital you have in prone areas, the higher the expenditure to fix. Nothing more, nothing less.

  9. MIKE L

    Just proves inflation , prices are higher on food and houses and materials

  10. ray

    not enough data to conclude. you need meteorological data and climate information independent of economic information. depending on location it might be changes in storm intensity

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