Every year, natural disasters inflict damages costing hundreds of billions of dollars globally – and the cost is rising. Climate change creates a more volatile weather system in which hurricanes, storm surge, wildfires, and other climate-related disasters are becoming more frequent and intense. The National Centers for Environmental Information, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), records the number of natural disasters that cause at least a billion dollars in losses in the United States – 'billion-dollar' disasters. In 2017, there were 16 'billion-dollar' disasters with losses totaling more than $300 billion, a record high. These extraordinary losses, although unprecedented, were not entirely unexpected. The frequency of 'billion-dollar' disasters (adjusted for inflation) has been increasing since the 1980s. Between 1980 and 2012, there were on average 5.3 'billion-dollar' disasters per year in the United States. In the last five years, 2013-2017, the average was 11.6 such disasters per year.