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Wind-Caused Catastrophes in the United States

Changnon, S.A. 2009. Temporal and spatial distributions of wind storm damages in the United States. Climatic Change 94: 473-482.
Working with data from the insurance industry -- which the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, in the words of Changnon, considers "the best of all forms of historical storm loss data in the nation" -- the researcher from the Illinois State Water Survey analyzed "catastrophes caused solely by high winds" that had had their losses adjusted so as to make them "comparable to current year [2006] values."

Although the average monetary loss of each year's catastrophes "had an upward linear trend over time, statistically significant at the 2% level," when the number of each year's catastrophes was considered, it was found that "low values occurred in the early years (1952-1966) and in later years (1977-2006)," while "the peak of incidences came during 1977-1991." Thus, it was not surprising, as Changnon describes it, that "the fit of a linear trend to the annual [catastrophe number] data showed no upward or downward trend."

Whereas climate alarmists contend that storms with extremely destructive winds become more frequent as the world warms, this impressive set of real-world data indicates that such is not the case in the United States.

Archived 14 September 2011