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Climate change map shows extreme weather across the nation

The NRDC created an interactive map of extreme weather events from 2011.
The NRDC created an interactive map of extreme weather events from 2011.

Climate change may not seem terribly concrete, but a new map from the NRDC makes the impact pretty clear.  

The National Resources Defense Council created an interactive map detailing the record-breaking climate events from January to October this year. The 2,941 weather events recorded on the map broke monthly records from the past 30 years.

The survey of national events found 1,302 heat records, 1,090 rainfall records and 549 snowfall records.

These effects will keep getting worse with climate change – more extreme heat, heavy rain and winds that seem to be straight out of tropical storms.   

There have been 14 extreme weather disasters in the U.S. this year that cost more an estimated $53 billion. Half of the events are the kind of weather scientists expect will worsen with climate change.

Even more, a recent study by NRDC scientists showed health costs are not always included in the bill climate change racks up in damages. Data from six climate-change related disasters examined cost more than $14 billion. The scientists said that's a low estimate, the frequency of the events will likely increase and intensify.

The map plays like a video timeline and shows extreme temperatures, droughts, rain, snow, flooding and wildfires moving across the country

An interactive map allows users to zoom in on their state and read about the specific climate change-related threats specific to the region, including flooding, disease and air pollution. 

For example, temperatures in California could increase anywhere between 4.7 and 10.5 decrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. There will also be a greater risk of heat-related sickness, water scarcity and air pollution in the future.

Illustrating these effects of climate change really shows the weather risks Americans face in their communities and helps bring the broad idea of climate change to a personal level, the NRDC said. Local leaders can use the information displayed on the map to develop area-specific or broader legislation, and communties should prepare to deal with the effects of climate change, scientists said.