Hurricane Michael brought a surprise punch to the Florida coastline and left a trail of destruction across the Southeastern United States. In addition to the immeasurable suffering for those who lost loved ones, the storm’s price tag is now estimated to be as high as $10 billion. Globally, in 2017, disasters triggered by weather- and climate-related hazards were responsible for thousands of deaths and $320 billion in losses.
While the storm caught many off guard, it’s the kind of extreme weather event that will become more common and severe in our changing world, where warming waters and rising seas will result in more damage, especially along Florida’s coast. According to one study, 64,000 homes in Florida face the risk of flooding in the next 30 years. Beyond more flooding and catastrophic storms, climate change will drive up insurance premiums and undercut property values.