By Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt)
(translated/edited by P Gosselin)
One of the most often named consequences of climate change is the prognosticated increase in extreme weather damage. At the forefront stood the insurance companies which loudly warned and thus stealthily laid out the groundwork for new customer acquisitions and higher premiums. But there’s one small problem: the climate refuses to play along with the climate establishment. The online Bayerische Staatszeitung (Bavarian State News) reported on July 18, 2017 on the latest development:
Less damage from natural catastrophes
In the first half of this year it was comparably quiet on the planet
In the first half of the year the planet suffered less from heavy natural catastrophes when compared to the long-term mean. According to figures from reinsurer Munich Re, damage worldwide due to natural catastrophes amounted to 41 billion dollars (approx. 35.7 billion euros) from the start of January to the end of June. That was less than half of the 111 billion dollars of damage due to natural catastrophes that had occurred in the first half of 2016.”
Read more at the Bayerischen Staatszeitung.
Munich Re: Damage from “cold snap in late spring”
By P Gosselin
And according to the highly dramatized Munich Re press release here, the largest share of the damage, 18.1 billion dollars, came from “many thunderstorms and tornadoes in the USA”.
Overall the 10-year average global natural catastrophe damage for the first half of the year is 102 billion dollars, Munich Re writes here. This makes the 2017 first half year dramatically mild.
Munich Re sales pitch: But do stay alarmed!
Munich Re Board member Torsten Jeworrek: “The exceptional accumulation of severe thunderstorms in the USA highlights just how important it is for insurers to have in-depth knowledge of natural catastrophes and how these are affected by climatic changes. This is true of both natural climatic changes and those that are man-made. Insurers not only help to overcome losses, they also improve our understanding of what triggers them. This is a fundamental basis for preventing future losses.”
Peter Höppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research: “The unusual atmospheric conditions in the USA in the first half of 2017 provided the perfect conditions for powerful supercell thunderstorms, which frequently bring major hailstorms and tornadoes. The number of tornadoes observed in the first quarter of 2017 was twice as high as the average for the last ten years.”
The Munich Re did not report the number of tornadoes for the first half.
Damage from “cold snap in late spring”
Another contributor to the natural catastrophe damage was a “cold snap in late spring”, the Munich Re added.
Some unusual weather events in Europe made a substantial contribution to the overall losses of €4.4bn, of which €1.7bn was insured. One event with very high losses that will not be remembered by many as a real natural catastrophe was a cold snap in April that affected a number of European countries. Temperatures as low as minus 7 degrees and snowfall in many parts of Europe in the second half of April resulted in serious frost losses in the agricultural sector, mainly vineyards and orchards.”