Thursday, September 05, 2013

While denialists double down...

By Carl

The insurance industry is already worrying about how to handle Global Warming:
“The debate on climate change and global warming has been intensely polarized. A great deal of this noise has clouded the very real and emerging issues that we as an industry and society need to address,” said Johnny Chan, PhD, director of the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre. “In order to adapt to climate change and the changing risk landscape, it is necessary to cut through this noise and focus on objective decisions to mitigate both the financial and social risks associated with climate change.”

The evidence of global warming is undeniable and includes increasing air temperatures, increasing ocean water temperatures, tree ring characteristics, ice core characteristics and the retreat of ice caps, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific body that reviews and assesses scientific evidence pertaining to the physics and impacts of climate change. While climate change has been documented with supporting evidence in past centuries, the rate of warming is believed to be unprecedented, IPCC added.

“Based on consistent and mounting scientific evidence, the IPCC has assessed that it is highly unlikely that recent warming trends can be explained away by natural variability alone,” said James Waller, PhD, research meteorologist for GC Analytics. “Estimates show that the mean temperature of the Earth could rise an additional two to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. This may seem like a relatively small increase, but the impact of rising temperatures, even by a few degrees, could cause a shift in weather patterns, with considerable impact worldwide.”

The impact of weather-related hazards are dependent on the frequency and severity of CAT [ed.note: catastrophic] events, but also on vulnerability, population density, local infrastructure and the property values of affected areas, the report said, and so factors including per-capita gross domestic product, total insured value, population density and annualized property value must be accounted for, according to the report.

So the insurance industry is clearly alarmed at global warming and is convinced that this is not a natural phenomenon but a manmade crisis.

The analysis goes on to point out that sea level rise is the biggest threat to life and property to come out of global warming, which makes sense: higher winds, more frequent storms, and higher temperatures can all be killers but none can kill on the massive scale that floodwaters can – just look at Katrina – and adding water volume can only make things even worse.

And yet, there are still paid derpers prattling…

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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