Extreme weather events on the rise

by Artemis on August 10, 2010

There’s been a lot of news about the recent extreme weather events which are happening around the world. The heatwave, drought and fires in Russia are causing devastation to agriculture and communities alike. The terrible flooding in Pakistan and China are impacting more people than any other disaster. Central and Eastern Europe are also suffering flooding which is increasing calls for disaster funds and new ways to protect the population and their businesses.

The trend that scientists are seeing is for an increase in frequency of these severe events. Many put this down to climate change and global warming, some say it is a pattern of warming which the earth has seen at points in its history too and as such is something to be expected.

Munich Re have analysed their loss database and say that they see a threefold increase in flooding events since 1980 and that there has also been an increase in windstorm events with hurricanes being particularly destructive. The U.N. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) say that the disasters being experienced currently all fit a trend and the predictions for global warming.

It’s impossible to say whether the warming trend is due to mankind or just a natural climate phase which has been experienced in the past and will be experienced again. What this does demonstrate is the need for robust risk transfer schemes, disaster insurance pools and microinsurance products to protect people and businesses from losses and the important role that the insurance and risk management industries have to play.

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