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Wind-Caused Catastrophes in the United States
Reference
Changnon, S.A. 2009. Temporal and spatial distributions of wind storm damages in the United States. Climatic Change 94: 473-482.

What was done
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."

What was learned
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."

What it means
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.

Reviewed 15 July 2009