2011 the most expensive year for natural disasters in history

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:42 PM GMT on July 14, 2011

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An exceptional accumulation of very severe natural catastrophes, including earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, tornadoes and flooding in the U.S., and flooding in Australia and New Zealand, make 2011 the highest-ever loss year on record, even after the first half-year, said re-insurance giant Munich Re in a press release this week. The $265 billion in economic losses accumulated this year exceeds the previous record year, 2005, which had $220 billion in damage (mostly due to $125 billion in damage from Hurricane Katrina.) Unlike 2005, this year's losses have been headlined by two huge earthquakes--the March 11 quake in Japan ($210 billion) and the February 22 quake in New Zealand ($20 billion.) But with the Northern Hemisphere's hurricane season just beginning, this year's record losses may see a significant boost from hurricanes.


Figure 1. Stunned survivors survey the destruction left by the EF-4 Tuscaloosa-Birmingham tornado of April. With a price tag estimated at $2 billion, this was the single most expensive tornado of all-time. The record stood only three weeks, being surpassed by the $3 billion in damage from the Joplin Missouri, tornado. The two tornado outbreaks that spawned these tornadoes rank as the globe's 3rd and 5th most destructive natural disasters so far this year. Image from an anonmous posting to Twitter.

Climate change and damage from weather-related disasters
In an interview with MSNBC, Peter Hoppe, who runs Munich Re's Geo Risks Research/Corporate Climate Center, said that while the damage trend for earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions is fairly stable, damage from severe weather events is on the upswing, even after factoring in increases in population and wealth. He cited natural events such as La Niña and El Niño as factors in some of the damaging weather events, but added that warming temperatures appear to be adding a layer "on top" of that natural variability. In particular, he noted that the floods this January in Australia--that nation's most expensive natural disaster of all time--occurred when ocean temperatures off the coast were at record warm levels. That meant "more evaporation and higher potential for these extreme downpours", and "it can only be explained by global warming."


Figure 2. The five most expensive natural disasters of 2011, as estimated by Munich Re.

However, the there is a lot of controversy on whether economic losses due to weather-related disasters is increasing due to climate change. A 2010 paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society by Netherlands researcher Laurens Bouwer titled, "Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?", looked at 22 disaster loss studies in various parts of the world. All of the studies showed an increase in damages from weather-related disasters in recent decades. The big question is, how much of this increase in damage was due to increases in population, and the fact people are getting wealthier, and thus have more stuff to get damaged? Fourteen of the 22 studies concluded that there were no trends in damage after correcting for increases in wealth and population, while eight of the studies did find upward trends even after such corrections. In all 22 studies, increases in wealth and population were the "most important drivers for growing disaster losses."

Bouwer's review of these 22 disaster loss studies was critiqued this year by Neville Nicholls of the School of Geography and Environmental Science of Montash University, Australia. His analysis, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, notes that Bouwer's study of damage losses did not include the impact of improvements in building codes and weather forecasting. We can expect both factors to have significantly reduced damages due to storms in recent years. Nicholls concludes, "The absence of an upward trend in normalized losses may be due to a balance between reduced vulnerability (from improved weather forecasting and building techniques) and increased frequency or intensity of weather hazards." In his reply to Nicholls' comments, Bouwer states that Nicholls "provides no support that these factors have actually contributed to a substantial reduction in losses over the period of the last decades."

Jeff Masters

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Why is it very,very quiet here?
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remember some of those pictures taken after ivan crushed granada frightning that part of the world has a history of getting crushed today seems alittle interesting the system seems to have some banding let jason take over from there
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Quoting WarEagle8:
DUNEDIN, FL -- 84 degrees at 5:50AM. 6.4" rain last week, and none this week. 50% chance Saturday. 60% chance for Sunday.
looks like some heavy rain for you all this wk end
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DUNEDIN, FL -- 84 degrees at 5:50AM. 6.4" rain last week, and none this week. 50% chance Saturday. 60% chance for Sunday.
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Quoting islander101010:
good morning first character thats comments will be searched tgif

good thing you didn't sing the most horrifying song.............
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good morning tgif
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Tokage is going to be absorbed soon and will end up over Tokio...
Too bad for Japan...

and will rain....... radioactive water! (DUN DUN DUUUUN!!!)
EDIT: It's too quiet here. Too quiet.

EDIT 2: NEW ADVISORY!
Weather
Issued at: 5:00 p.m., 15 July 2011
At 2:00 p.m. Tropical Depression "HANNA" was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 850 km East of Virac Catanduanes (14.0%uFFFDN, 133.0%uFFFDE) with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph. It is forecast to move Northeast at 24 kph.
Tropical Cyclone Update
Issued at: 5:00 p.m., 15 July 2011
The Low Pressure Area East of Southern Luzon has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named HANNA

From PAGASA
Note: I am from PH, so i know this site.
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Quoting Vincent4989:
Tokage is slowly being sucked out like it's being eaten by a black hole in this image:


Tokage is going to be absorbed soon and will end up over Tokio...
Too bad for Japan...
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Tokage is slowly being sucked out like it's being eaten by a black hole in this image:
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Wow south east Japan is not looking to good in the coming days.
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. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
(1) THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 13.6N
132.2E, IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 14.1N 132.6E, APPROXIMATELY 430 NM NORTH-
NORTHWEST OF PALAU. ANIMATED MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS A
FULLY EXPOSED LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER WITH CONVECTION SHEARED
70 NM TO THE SOUTHWEST OF THE CENTER. UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS INDICATES
THAT THE LLCC IS LOCATED IN A REGION OF FAVORABLE UPPER LEVEL
DIFFLUENCE AND LOW VERTICAL WIND SHEAR (<15 KNOTS). OUTFLOW FROM TY
08W (Ma-on)
IS INHIBITING CONVECTIVE DEVELOPMENT FROM PERSISTING OVER THE
LLCC. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 15 TO 20
KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1004 MB.
DUE TO THE WELL-DEFINED LLCC AND FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS,
THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE
WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS REMAINS HIGH. SEE REF B (WTPN21 PGTW
140600) FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
It's killing Tokage!
EDIT: LOL i was listening to epic music when intensificaton to CAT4 happened
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678. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


JTWC has that typhoon as a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale as well
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Do you live in Texas? I will ship you some rain for all of you.Put it first class so you should get it pretty quick.Seriously I pray that yall get the rain you so need.

nope but they do need rain before the oil harvested in TX BUUUURNS
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Quoting Vincent4989:

Still no hope for TX?
Do you live in Texas? I will ship you some rain for all of you.Put it first class so you should get it pretty quick.Seriously I pray that yall get the rain you so need.
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Quoting HadesGodWyvern:
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #29
TYPHOON MA-ON (T1106)
15:00 PM JST July 15 2011
==========================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon In Sea Near Ogasawara Shoto

At 6:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Ma-On (950 hPa) located at 20.8N 141.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 85 knots with gusts of 120 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 10 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0

Storm Force Winds
==================
100 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
350 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
250 NM from the center in southwest quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 21.3N 137.0E - 95 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 23.3N 133.6E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 26.7N 132.1E - 95 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
Levi said he thought it would max out as cat 4.He looks to be right on with it.Amazing what these things can do.
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Quoting TomTaylor:


plenty more rain for you guys over the next 5 days


Still no hope for TX?
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673. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #29
TYPHOON MA-ON (T1106)
15:00 PM JST July 15 2011
==========================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon In Sea Near Ogasawara Shoto

At 6:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Ma-On (950 hPa) located at 20.8N 141.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 85 knots with gusts of 120 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 10 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T5.0

Storm Force Winds
==================
100 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
350 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
250 NM from the center in southwest quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 21.3N 137.0E - 95 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
48 HRS: 23.3N 133.6E - 100 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
72 HRS: 26.7N 132.1E - 95 knots (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)
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672. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #2
TROPICAL STORM TOKAGE (T1107)
15:00 PM JST July 15 2011
==========================================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Tokage (1000 hPa) located at 14.1N 133.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving east slowly

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale Force Winds
================
130 NM from the center in south quadrant
70 NM from the center in north quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
========================
24 HRS: 14.0N 134.0E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 13.5N 134.5E - Tropical Depression
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Quoting TomTaylor:


plenty more rain for you guys over the next 5 days

Wow.What kind of weather pattern is that? Is iyt just a ridge of some type? I am totally clueless here. LOL
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Good early morning everyone.Had pretty descent showers here in Mobile yesterday.Hope everyone is prepared for what looks to be a very busy Hurricane Season.


plenty more rain for you guys over the next 5 days

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goodnite tom thanks
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
yea, hot springs mountain beats Cuyamaca by 23 feet...lol... 6,535 to 6,512
wow that's pretty close then

Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
i think mt woodson by ramona blocks the view of hot springs mountain
ah makes sense. its kinda tucked away

I'm out for the night, I'll leave you with some more Jimi




one of my favorites from him.

anyway adios amigo
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Good Morning from Soooooo Cali, it just turned morning, things quiet in tropics now, hope everyone is well prepared just in case there is the need to be
One can never be too prepared.Can you tell me what weather pattern is sitting on the Northern Gulf coast?We have had rain everyday for 4 days straight.Not that I am complaining.But i dont know anything about weather and was just curious. TIA
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Good early morning everyone.Had pretty descent showers here in Mobile yesterday.Hope everyone is prepared for what looks to be a very busy Hurricane Season.
Good Morning from Soooooo Cali, it just turned morning, things quiet in tropics now, hope everyone is well prepared just in case there is the need to be
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i think mt woodson by ramona blocks the view of hot springs mountain
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Quoting TomTaylor:
ok. I live near the coast in Clairemont.

And I remember the day I found out Hot Springs mountain was the highest in the county and I was really surprised. You can't see it from the coast really, so I always though Cuyamaca was the highest or something
yea, hot springs mountain beats Cuyamaca by 23 feet...lol... 6,535 to 6,512
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Good early morning everyone.Had pretty descent showers here in Mobile yesterday.Hope everyone is prepared for what looks to be a very busy Hurricane Season.
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i have a better view of palomar mountain from my side porch,high point there is 6,140. so kinda in a valley between mountains oak trees, chapperal
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
i live 9 miles nnw of warner springs, called sunshine summit, my house is at a elevation of 3325 feet.hot springs mountain high point is just east of warner springs, at like 6,7xx feet
ok. I live near the coast in Clairemont.

And I remember the day I found out Hot Springs mountain was the highest in the county and I was really surprised. You can't see it from the coast really, so I always though Cuyamaca was the highest or something
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Quoting TomTaylor:


yeah thats what all those spaces were for, I was trying to get the video in there...took a little bit.

Anyway, hopefully you guys get some more rain. Really doubt we will see any here at the coast. Didn't get any last time. Still fun to see the clouds in the distance though and I love the humid weather, nights are just right over here when its humid. When its not its a little too cold

And do you actually live up on the mountain? or further downhill?
i live 9 miles nnw of warner springs, called sunshine summit, my house is at a elevation of 3325 feet.hot springs mountain high point is just east of warner springs, at like 6,5xx feet
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
hey joe, where ya going with that gun in yer hand.......love it, thanks tom. yup,only thing seperating me from the desert is the tallest mountain in san diego county..hot springs mountain...yea, we could use another dunder dorm, we had 1/2 of one last week, had about a quarter inch of rain, but it cooled off from 93 to 70 real quick


yeah thats what all those spaces were for, I was trying to get the video in there...took a little bit.

Anyway, hopefully you guys get some more rain. Really doubt we will see any here at the coast. Didn't get any last time. Still fun to see the clouds in the distance though and I love the humid weather, nights are just right over here when its humid. When its not its a little too cold

And do you actually live up on the mountain? or further downhill?
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hey joe, where ya going with that gun in yer hand.......love it, thanks tom. yup,only thing seperating me from the desert is the tallest mountain in san diego county..hot springs mountain...yea, we could use another dunder dorm, we had 1/2 of one last week, had about a quarter inch of rain, but it cooled off from 93 to 70 real quick
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I dont think even Borrego Springs in the deset made it to 100
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Doing well Tom, great weather out here for July, should be 90-100, and it was like 76 today! wow!
Yeah that's probably nice for you guys. Down here at the coast its been a little chilly. Should warm up by next week though...maybe even some thunderstorms for your neck of the woods by early next week
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Quoting TomTaylor:
hey Joe






How's warner springs treating you?


Doing well Tom, great weather out here for July, should be 90-100, and it was like 76 today! wow!
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Hi to all. Is the earth still in one piece?
hey Joe






How's warner springs treating you?
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wow big increase in SW Carib and decrease in Central Atl

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12481
Hi to all. Is the earth still in one piece?
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Yep. I have been trying to figure out those fictional forces too but, I was getting too much friction for doing so. Sorry, Tom. I could not pass that one up. Rarely do I get to point out something like this. I could not resist the temptation.

Out for the night. Everyone stay safe and I hope you get the weather you need. I am not so someone else should!
lol no problem jokes are the best


Night
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Quoting TomTaylor:
yea I was thinking it would be pretty hard to figure out exactly how much the fictional force increases relative to the pressure gradient force.


Yep. I have been trying to figure out those fictional forces too but, I was getting too much friction for doing so. Sorry, Tom. I could not pass that one up. Rarely do I get to point out something like this. I could not resist the temptation.

Out for the night. Everyone stay safe and I hope you get the weather you need. I am not so someone else should!
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Quoting Levi32:


Very true. I have been searching for some kinetic coefficients of friction for ocean surfaces and/or waves, with no luck. Until then, I have no idea what the frictional force is on the air flowing above the sea, but I would think that the pressure gradient force increase in a strengthening storm does exceed the increase in frictional force.
yea I was thinking it would be pretty hard to figure out exactly how much the fictional force increases relative to the pressure gradient force.
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Quoting Grothar:


Thought you were checking out?


He didn't want to miss roll call?
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Quoting RTLSNK:


I am here, but not for long.


Thought you were checking out?
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Quoting Grothar:
OK, roll call! Who is still up?
I am
What're you doing up so late gro?
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644. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
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Quoting Grothar:
OK, roll call! Who is still up?


Present! I have been learning too much to abandon this yet. Although I will probably be spending a lot of time on Google tomorrow.
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Quoting Grothar:
OK, roll call! Who is still up?


I am here, but not for long.
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OK, roll call! Who is still up?
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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