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Taking account of the increased population and development of U.S. coastal regions, have economic damages from hurricanes generally increased over the past century?

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A 2018 paper in the journal "Nature Sustainability" estimates economic damages from hurricanes in the U.S. from 1900 to 2017 and finds there is "no trend" and "a very high degree of consistency" over time when the data are "normalized" to "contemporary societal conditions." While claiming that global warming will cause economic harm, media outlets sometimes cite a 2013 paper in the journal "Natural Hazards" that found "an increasing trend" in billion-dollar natural disasters. Buried on the 24th page of this paper, the authors reveal that their "dataset is only adjusted for the CPI [inflation] over time, not currently incorporating any changes in exposure (e.g., as reflected by shifts in wealth or population)." Such hidden caveats and half-truths are rampant in the debate over global warming.

DocumentationNature Sustainability PaperNatural Hazards PaperHalf-Truths Debunked



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