2022 was the eighth consecutive year in which 10 or more separate billion-dollar disasters have hit the US, up from an average of 7.9 such events between 1980 and 2022, says a government report.
Officials say the confirmed number of storm-related deaths rose to 44 in Florida, but additional fatalities were still emerging county by county - pointing to a far higher final toll.
A La Nina event cooled the earth in 2021, but the overall trend is what matters as the world is inexorably headed towards heating.
The storm heads north toward the Florida Keys, gaining slightly in intensity after leaving a trail of destruction through the Caribbean that claimed at least three lives.
US President Joe Biden includes Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping among the invitees to the first big climate talks of his administration.
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