GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
Katrina, Sandy, Harvey, and Irma—4 of the costliest hurricanes in the U.S. since 2005—caused damage totaling trillions of dollars. Their effects on economic activity and employment in damaged areas varied widely.
Climate change has led to record low levels of ice in the U.S. Arctic—prolonging the shipping season and opening up shipping routes. This may expand economic opportunities, but harsh weather and ice conditions—plus the lack of maritime infrastructure—pose safety risks.
Extreme weather related to climate change potentially threatens utilities that produce drinking water and treat wastewater.
We examined federal technical and financial assistance to make such infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather and asked experts about additional options.
Disaster costs will likely increase as extreme weather events become more frequent and intense due to climate change, scientists report. In 2018 alone, weather and climate disasters in the United States cost at least $91 billion.
Since 1980, weather disasters in the U.S. have caused more than $1.6 trillion in damage. Weather disasters, and federal spending on them, are expected to increase due to climate change, as our High Risk List indicates.
The Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collectively spend billions of dollars to replace aging ships that conduct search and rescue, icebreaking, and research missions.