A massive wildfire destroyed the hall of historic Waiola Church in Lahaina, Hawaii, on August 8, 2023. (Photo by AP)
The United States has set a record for costly natural disasters in 2023 that is yet to finish, with experts warning they are being turbo-charged by climate change.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported on Monday that the US experienced 23 separate weather and climate disasters, including storms to wildfires, which have each caused at least $1 billion in damage between January and August 2023.
"With approximately four months still left in the year, 2023 has already surpassed the previous record of 22 events seen in all of 2020," NOAA said.
The NOAA report said this yearís disasters killed more than 250 people and caused over $57.6 billion in damages.
The report didnít include Hurricane Hilary which impacted parts of California and the Southwest in August as the damage caused by the storm is still being reviewed.
"These record-breaking numbers, during a year that is on track to be one of the hottest ever, are sobering and the latest confirmation of a worsening trend in costly disasters, many of which bear the undeniable fingerprints of climate change," Rachel Cletus of the Union of Concerned Scientists said in a statement.
According to NOAA, this meteorological summer (June 1 through August 31) was the USí 15th-hottest on record as the average temperature for the contiguous US was 73.0 degrees, 1.6 degrees above average.
NOAA has begun tracking billion-dollar disasters since 1980. Over the past five years, the US has averaged 18 billion-dollar disasters a year.
Being the largest emitter worldwide, the US is historically responsible for climate change.
A Carbon Brief analysis shows that since 1850 the US has released more than 509Gt of CO2 and is responsible for the largest share of historical emissions, with some 20% of the global total, which is not only threatening the country but the entire Earth.