Memphis flood. Photo: Chris WielandBy many measures, 2011 was the most extreme weather year for the United States since reliable record-keeping began in the 19th century -- and the costs have been enormous. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2011 set a record for the most billion-dollar disasters in a single year. There were 12, breaking the old record of nine set in 2009. The aggregate damage from these 12 events totals at least $52 billion, NOAA found. Severe weather across much of the nation has raised the question of whether global warming has already begun to …
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