The Midwest will see an increase in the number of extreme storms in the future, according to a study released Wednesday by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO). The group also said the Midwest is more likely to see severe storms like those experienced in 2010 in Iowa.
RMCO blamed human-caused climate change for the increase in storms. The group's study found that in the 1960s, extreme storms occurred in the Midwest about every 3.8 years, but in the last decade that has increased to once every 2.2 years.
An increase in extreme storms also comed with a higher costs. In 2010, Iowa suffered $1 billion in agricultural damages from storms. The Midwest's biggest years for storms, 1993 and 2008, cost the region $16 billion and $33 billion, respectively.
RMCO suggested the federal government should seek to cap carbon emissions and help the Environmental Protection Agency retain its power to enfore the Clean Air Act. State and local governments should invest in energy efficiency, the report said, and work to incorporate green infrastructure into cities.
"Most of our communities were not designed to handle the volume of water dumped by these epic storms," said Karen Hobbs, senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a release. "But green infrastructure solutions, such as green roofs, street trees and rain gardens, literally capture rain where it falls, helping prevent flooding and providing communities with greater resiliency to these ferocious storms."