When you think about a natural disaster, you usually think of a big storm, tornadoes or mudslides.
But a recent report by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that many more disasters could befall the U.S. in the next decade, due to climate change.
The report, released Friday, found that in 2025, more than half of the countries with the greatest number of natural disasters (roughly two-thirds) will experience a catastrophic natural disaster.
That means nearly three out of four of the nation’s 50 largest states will experience at least one disaster that would be considered an “extreme” event by FEMA.
The agency predicts that about half of these disasters will occur by 2040.
The new findings are a stark reminder that the effects of climate change are far from over.
In fact, it could mean that by the time the next natural disaster hits, it will have already happened, experts said.
The report comes as climate scientists continue to explore the link between climate change and the likelihood of future disasters.
Last month, the World Meteorological Organization announced that climate change is increasing the likelihood that the world will experience multiple extreme weather events by 2030.
And a recent study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that if greenhouse gases are kept in check for an extended period, climate change will lead to more severe weather.
“The longer we wait to act, the more we will pay a price,” the report stated.
“These are just the latest examples of the ways that climate action can have negative impacts,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and former assistant secretary of the Interior under President George W. Bush.
“We need to act now, not later.”
The report also highlighted that the United States has experienced a dramatic rise in wildfires, a rise in the frequency of heat waves, droughts, floods and heat waves that can lead to mass deaths, and more.
While most natural disasters would probably not have a direct impact on the U, they can have a ripple effect on the economy.
As more people move to cities, businesses and infrastructure, the U’s carbon footprint will be even greater, the report said.
In 2025, climate changes are expected to lead to an average increase of about 0.2 inches (3.4 centimeters) in average annual global temperatures, the largest warming increase seen in more than a century.
The U.N. Environment Program estimates that the average U.A. temperature will increase by 0.15 degrees Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over the next century.
That translates to an additional 3.7 million square miles (6.9 million square kilometers) of sea-level rise.
The number of people living in coastal cities will rise by about 7 billion people in 2070, a rate of growth of nearly three times the global population.
In the next two decades, the number of new climate-related disasters will rise from an average of 3.2 per year to 5.7 per year, according to the report.
By 2025, the majority of these catastrophes will likely occur in the US.
While the impact on businesses and other economic activity could be significant, the government and businesses are already taking steps to prepare for the potential.
The Trump administration is expected to release its first major environmental plan in 2021, and the U and other countries are working on ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change, according the report’s authors.
The next report will be released in 2019.
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