Climate change: Bigger hurricanes are now more damaging

Climate change: Bigger hurricanes are now more damaging
Hurricanes or tropical cyclones are one of the most destructive natural disasters. The damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was estimated to be $125bn, roughly 1% of US GDP.

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Media captionTomasz Schafernaker takes a look at the formation of hurricanes and where their energy comes from.

One of the big questions that scientists have wrestled with is how to compare storm events from different eras. Is the increase in financial damages recorded over the last century simply down to the fact there are now more people living in the paths of hurricanes, who are generally wealthier?

Image caption Hurricane Irma caused extensive damage in Florida, but also in Antigua and Barbuda

However this new paper challenges that view.

Instead of looking at economic damage, the authors looked at the amount of land that was totally destroyed by more than 240 storms between 1900 and 2018, based on insurance industry databases.
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