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Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

National Center for Environmental Education, NOAA

This set of interactive data visualizations show the weather and climate events that have had the greatest economic impact on the US from 1980 to 2016.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Static Visualization supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 2 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Science and Engineering Practice

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b
Human activities have increased GHG levels and altered global climate patterns
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6c
Increased extreme weather events due to climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7c
Human health and well-being will be affected to different degrees from the impacts from climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7f

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • These graphics can be used as data/evidence in any discussion or talk about the influence of climate change on extreme weather events.

About the Science

  • Based on data compiled by the National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly NCDC), the U.S. has sustained 203 weather and climate disasters since 1980 in which overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - Wonderful graphics that are very clear
    - Methodology and data sources explained
    - 1980-2018 year to date billion-dollar disaster event frequency for US and each state/US territory

About the Pedagogy

  • Resource includes various interactive graphical displays (frequency mapping, time-series graphs, summary statistics, and chronological table of events) for individual disaster events (drought, flooding, freeze, severe storms, tropical cyclones, wildfires, winter storms) as well as consolidation of all events.
  • User can customize range of years and disaster types, to help visualize how disaster costs change over space and time.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Visualizations are well displayed and referenced. Methodology, references, and data sources provided on home page.
  • Wrap-around text is well written.
  • Graphs are clear and easy to read, and they can be enlarged.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Static Visualization supports:

Middle School

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1


MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

Science and Engineering Practices: 2

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.4:Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.

High School

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

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