What it's about:
Weather and climate-related disasters cost the United States a record $306 billion in 2017, the third-warmest year on record, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said.
The agency said western wildfires and hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma contributed to making 2017 the costliest year on record. The federal agency's report underscores the economic risks of such disasters.
The previous record was $215 billion in 2005, when hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita slammed the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Why it's noteworthy:
Scientists have long concluded that carbon dioxide and other emissions from fossil fuels and industry are driving climate change, leading to floods, droughts and more-frequent powerful storms.
Despite this, President Donald Trump, a Republican, has promised to boost U.S. oil, gas and coal production, and started the process of pulling his country out of the Paris climate change agreement.
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