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Summary of 10 Year Time Scale
Image of Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures during El Nino eventOver a span of a decade, we have a more expanded perspective of climate variability than one annual cycle. Longer term patterns of climate variability are revealed that cannot be seen over the course of one year, such as those related to ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation), a powerful force on climate variability explored in more detail in Climate Science. In Climate History, we look at the 1990s and how the costs of contending with natural hazards such as floods and extreme weather events have increased significantly even though the frequency of such storms didn't increase. In the Resources section there are links to additional resources on ENSO and streamflows and the stories they tell.

10 Year Timeline
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Here's a look at the climate-related events of the past and their impact on human activities
Year
Climate Related Events
2001

Image of flooding in Mozambique from USAF-Severe flooding impacts hundreds of thousands in Mozambique and other southeastern African nations in February-April.
-Active hurricane season with 15 storms in Atlantic.
-Tropical Storm Allison drenches Louisiana and southeast Texas; $5 billion dollars in damages and 41 lives lost.
-Southeast Asian drought centered in Afganistan that began in 1998 continues.
-Millions in Vietnam and Cambodia effected by flooding in August-October.

2000

Image of aftermath of wildfire
-Wildfires in the Western US
burn over 6 million acres and cost over $1 billion to fight.

-Severe drought affects parts of US and Asia, while flooding occurs in SW Asia.
Image of wildfire aftermath from FEMA.

1999

Image of 1999 La Nina from NOAA-La Niña linked to droughts conditions in much of US and higher than normal precipitation in Pacific Northwest.
-December- Severe windstorms uproot trees in France in December.
-Global mean temperature (Land and Ocean combined) for year is 5th
warmest on record since 1880 and second warmest for US, with 1998 being the warmest.

1998

Image of ice storm-January- Severe Ice Storm hits NE US and Canada, leaving millions without electricity, triggering flooding.

-November- Hurricane Mitch devastates Central America, killing estimated 11,000, the greatest loss of life in the western hemisphere from a tropical system since 1780.

1997

Image of flooding in California-Impact of 1997-1998 ENSO warm event estimated at $25 to $33 billion.

-Flooding in California and Dakotas cost $6.7 billion.

1996 Image of flooding from Hurricane Bertha-Hurricanes Bertha and Fran hit the North Carolina resulting in major flooding. Total damages in the United States over $3.5 billion.
1995

Image of graph showing Chicago's daily temperatures-Atlantic Hurricane Season second busiest hurricane season since 1871. 19 named storms, with 11 of which reached hurricane strength causing $8 billion in damage.
-July - Heat wave hits central US, causing 830 deaths, 525 of them in Chicago.
-December- Intense storm with heavy rains strikes Pacific Northwest, causing 6 deaths.

1994 Image of blizzard

-March- Severe ice storm
in southeast US causes an estimated $3 billion in damages.
1993 Image of Midwest flood-March- "Storm of the Century" hits US east coast with 270 missing, including 14 in Florida who die in tornadoes.
-Summer- U. S. Midwest Flood of 1993 reported 48 deaths and $18 billion in damages.
1992

Image of Hurricane Andrew-August- Hurricane Andrew hits Florida, killing 54, costing $25 billion. Had the eye of the storm been a few miles further north, downtown Miami might have been hit and the death toll and destruction far higher.
-Sept. - Hurricane Iniki affects three Hawaiian Islands and results in over $1 billion in damage.

1991

Image of Oakland fire-April- Bangladesh Cyclone kills over 138,000.
-October- Typhoon Thelma, hits Philippines and 6000 people die.
-October- Oakland Firestorm kills 25 and costs $2.5 billion
-November- "Halloween Nor'Easter" later called the "Perfect Storm" develops off Nova Scotia.

Also see: What is Variability? and Overview of Climate Processes.
Photos from NOAA, NASA, FEMA & USGRP
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