California’s climate is famously volatile. While the state has averaged about 21 inches of precipitation per year since 1896, any given year can swing wildly from the mean, resulting in incidences of both devastating floods and remorseless drought.

Climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of such extreme weather events: 2014 was the record hottest year in state history, and according to tree-ring data, one of the driest in 500 years. At the same time, three of the wettest years in recorded California history have occurred since 1980. Along with sea level rise, extreme weather events are creating new risks to the world’s great coastal and delta regions, including the San Francisco Silicon Valley-Oakland Bay Area. Against this backdrop, and with Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina still in recent memory, what danger do extreme storms pose to the Bay Area economy today?

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