The Common Good

Report: Climate Change Linked to Costly Natural Disasters

It’s been a good week for getting real. After Tuesday’s revelation that the majority of Americans link increased natural disasters with climate change, a new report yesterday indicates that they may be right.

In their newly-published report, reinsurance company Munich Re claimed that global climate change has been driving natural disasters and extreme weather events, and that this trend will increase as the climate continues to change.

The monetary cost of climate change is obviously a hot topic for an insurance provider:

-- The intensities of certain weather events in North America are among the highest in the world, and the risks associated with them are changing faster than anywhere else.

-- The second costliest year of the study period, 2011, was dominated by strong storms. Insured losses in the U.S. due to thunderstorms alone was the highest on record at an estimated $26 billion, more than double the previous thunderstorm record set in 2010.

-- Insured losses from disasters averaged $9 billion a year in the 1980s. By the 2000s, the average soared to $36 billion per year.

Read the full report here.

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