In a new report that details the economic toll of climate change, six New Jersey counties appear on a list of the 100 counties nationwide that are expected to experience the greatest loss related to weather and climate on an annual basis.

"Every state in the country has been impacted and faces risks from rapidly escalating weather and climate disaster damages, with a third of all losses since 1980 occurring in the last five years," says the report from E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs).

The report, prepared by PSE Healthy Energy, notes that billion-dollar disasters across the U.S. are growing in number and severity.

Between 1980 and July 2022, the report finds, New Jersey alone recorded $59 billion in weather and climate losses through major events such as drought, flooding, freezes, severe storms, tropical cyclones, wildfires, and winter storms. That count doesn't include events that caused less than $1 billion in damage.

More than $49 billion of New Jersey's tab was the result of tropical cyclones, according to the report, which used data from NOAA. Oct. 29, 2022 marks 10 years since Sandy made landfall in New Jersey.

Billion-dollar disasters cost New Jersey more than $9 billion just in 2021, the year that the remnants of Ida caused major disaster declarations in several Garden State counties, according to the report.

Looking forward, using data from FEMA, E2 created a list of the top 100 counties for expected weather and climate losses to buildings, agriculture, and human life. The dollar numbers reflect costs from 1996 to 2019, so the actual losses are predicted to be higher than what's reported here.

Six NJ counties on the list

#3 Ocean County

Expected annual loss: $288,341,170

Ocean County Courthouse
TSM photo
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#38 Bergen County

Expected annual loss: $80,970,828

Bergen County ballot drop box (Borough of Oakland via Twitter) Teaneck mail in ballot mistake
Bergen County ballot drop box (Borough of Oakland via Twitter)
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#67 Hudson County

Expected annual loss: $54,426,033

Sandy damage in Hoboken (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
Sandy damage in Hoboken (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)
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#71 Monmouth County

Expected annual loss: $52,335,376

Red full moon in Asbury Park
Red full moon in Asbury Park (Raquel Melody)
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#81 Atlantic County

Expected annual loss: $47,427,230

Atlantic City (Kylie Moore, Townsquare Media NJ)
Atlantic City (Kylie Moore, Townsquare Media NJ)
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#85 Somerset County

Expected annual loss: $44,661,964

Somerset County Preservation Plan
Preserved farmland in Hillsborough, Somerset County (Somerset County Agricultural Development Board)
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Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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