Thursday, June 23, 2011

Routine Weather Costs U.S. $485 billion

Forget about the price tags for tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, heat-waves and other extremes -- just the routine variations of daily weather cost the U.S. economy some $485 billion a year, a new study says. This "initial estimate" -- 3.4 percent of the nation's gross domestic product -- is the first study of its kind to apply hard-number economic analysis to the weather sensitivity of the U.S. economy as a whole. Earlier estimates apply only to one economic sector or another. "It's clear the economy isn't weatherproof," economist Jeffrey Lazo, at the National Center For Atmospheric Research said in a statement issued by the Boulder-based facility. The study, by Lazo and colleagues at the University of Colorado-Boulder, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, is being published in this month's issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. More>