Munich Re on Climate Change in North America: NOT IF, BUT HOW

“Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America. The study shows a nearly quintupled number of weather-related loss events in North America for the past three decades, compared with an increase factor of 4 in Asia, 2.5 in Africa, 2 in Europe and 1.5 in South America. Anthropogenic climate change is believed to contribute to this trend, though it influences various perils in different ways. Climate change particularly affects formation of heat-waves, droughts, intense precipitation events, and in the long run most probably also tropical cyclone intensity. “ Munich Re Insurance Press Release October 17, 2012

The 274-page study, “Severe weather in North America” draws on “the most comprehensive natural catastrophe database worldwide” indexing losses from weather-related natural disasters including hurricanes, thunderstorms, floods, wildfires, winter storms, heatwaves and droughts.

“This publication represents another contribution to the global dialogue concerning weather-related activities and their causes. What is clearly evident when the longterm data is reviewed is that losses from weather events are trending upward. To simply say that this trend is a statistical anomaly or part of a long-term cycle of activity misses the point of these efforts – we must set aside our biases and continue a meaningful dialogue in search of answers to mitigate the losses that we are experiencing.” Tony Kuczinski, CEO of Munich Reinsurance America.

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