Hurricane Irene may cost US economy $20 billion 2


To ABC News : ” It’s time to clean up Irene. The hurricane’s destructive path through 10 East Coast states left an estimated $7 billion to $13 billion of damage in its wake — without even accounting for economic losses.”

Estimates could climb to $20 billion (14 billion euros) if economic lost were taken into account… And this was by all standards a small hurricane. It wasn’t even one, but just a tropical storm when it reached most of the United States.

Climate change is making these phenomena worse. (cf. below) What are we waiting for slashing our emissions and thus, the risk of increased hurricanes and floods ?

Here is an extract of Climate Progress :

Climate science suggests that global warming will make hurricanes like Irene more destructive in three ways (all things being equal):

  1. Sea level rise makes storm surges more destructive.
  2. “Owing to higher SSTs [sea surface temperatures] from human activities, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere leads to 5 to 10% more rainfall and increases the risk of flooding,” as NCAR Senior Scientist Kevin Trenberth put it in an email to me today.
  3. “However, because water vapor and higher ocean temperatures help fuel the storm, it is likely to be more intense and bigger as well,” as Trenberth writes

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2 thoughts on “Hurricane Irene may cost US economy $20 billion

  • nadine sellers

    as for Katrina, there is a huge potential for green projects in the rebuilding of affected areas. there is opportunity to use green means to repair and restore damaged roads and institutions–put tax revenues to work the appropriate way…
    contractors have been licking their chops like lions at supper time ever since Irene was predicted to hit the east coast of the US. no bids necessary, the contracts were surely in the tube before landfall was evident in North Carolina…much money will circulate in fat back pockets…hopefully.. renewable enterprises and unemployed workers pockets of need..
    to every storm a lesson–to every man a plan to correct the course of human behavior..

  • Edouard Post author

    Thanks Nadine,

    I indeed hope that rebuilding will use energy efficient and green tech.

    Your comment reminds me that catastrophes are good for GDP : indeed, it makes money goes from pockets to pockets…

    Let’s indeed hope some good things will occur after Irene : A quelque chose malheur est bon