Munich Re Report: Top 2014 Weather Catastrophe Losses Due To Cold-Related Events, “Record Harsh Winter”!

We keep hearing from alarmists that storms are becoming more violent and more frequent, and thus storm damage and deaths are rising – all because of man-made global WARMING. Unless we stop driving SUV’s, mankind in the future will be wiped out by global warming-precipitated bad weather. Hat-tip: DirkH.

However, the world’s largest re-insurer (and a very active proponent of global warming catastrophe), Munich Re, has just released its latest “catastrophe report“, which looks at the first half of 2014. In it there are some interesting admissions.

Economic losses plummet 56%

“The statistics for natural catastrophes for the first half of 2014 have been marked by pleasingly low levels of global claims. Overall economic losses of US$ 42bn and insured losses of US$ 17bn to the end of June were considerably below the average for the past ten years (US$ 95bn and US$ 25bn respectively).

That translates to an almost 56% drop in economic losses from natural catastrophes (not necessarily weather-related, e.g. earthquakes, volcanoes).

Deaths down eye-popping 95%!

“Thankfully, the number of deaths caused by natural catastrophes was also comparatively low. During the first half of the year, 2700 people died as a result of natural catastrophes, which was much lower than is normal during the first six months of a year (10-year average: 53,000). There were around 490 loss-relevant natural catastrophes.”

Only 2700 people died, normal is 53,000! That’s a drop of 95%. Despite the good news, the Munich Re insists there’s been “no change in the overall risk situation“, and so premiums unfortunately will have to stay high because global warming catastrophes are lurking.

“Snowstorms”, harsh “record winter” cause biggest losses!

Ironically the most damage was not caused by something we typically associate with global warming, but rather with global cooling!

“The effect of loss susceptibility on claims was clearly demonstrated by two snowstorms in Japan. These storms in February, which hit Tokyo and central Japan in particular, brought overall losses of around US$ 5bn and insured losses of more than US$ 2.5bn, and were the most costly natural catastrophe worldwide in the first half of the year. Snowfalls of up to a metre are very unusual in the affected provinces in Japan, though they would cause very few problems in other countries. There were numerous accidents, and the roofs of many halls and greenhouses collapsed under the weight of the snow.

Record North American winter, blizzards cause losses

“The record winter in North America also caused significant losses, with extremely cold temperatures and heavy snowfalls over a longer period in many parts of the USA and Canada. The losses from various blizzards totalled around US$ 3.4bn. The most costly snowstorm was in the first week of January: losses for this storm alone totalled US$ 2.5bn, of which US$ 1.7bn was insured. In many instances the harsh winter also had a heavy impact on business, as companies were forced to stop production. At the end of January, a blizzard brought the Atlanta metropolitan area almost to a standstill, even though only a few centimetres of snow had fallen. Snow and ice made the highways impassable, as there was a lack of snow-clearing equipment for a city unused to such conditions.”

Munich Re contorts to blame it on “climate change”

Of course for a company whose business plan is based on promoting global warming catastrophe, the unexpected harsh winter losses may lead to clients asking questions. The Munich Re then undergoes contortions to link the cold to global warming:

“According to Peter Höppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research Department, there is a link between the weather extremes in the northern hemisphere this winter. “These extremes – with heavy winter conditions in North America and Asia, and the extraordinarily mild winter across large parts of Europe – were due to significant and lengthy meanders in the jet stream”, said Höppe. “And scientists are still having intense debates about whether such sustained changes to patterns in the jet stream – and therefore also the frequency of such extreme and persistent weather conditions – might increase in the future due to climate change.”

When one scrutinizes the Munich report, little damage arises from warm events. The warm weather cited is restricted to Europe, which represents a tiny fraction of the world’s surface.

USA tornadoes down 25%

“The tornado season in the USA, which peaks from May to July, has been below average so far. The US weather agency NOAA recorded 721 tornadoes until end of June, in comparison to an average of 1,026 in the years 2005–2013.”

But hey! “Videos filmed on 17 June showed an extremely rare twin tornado in the State of Nebraska.” Wow! Aint that something! Must be global warming.

Munich Re sees no “super El Niño” this fall

Over the rest of the year, weather events will probably see increasing impact from ENSO, a naturally occurring phenomenon that involves fluctuating ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. “With the contrary effects of El Niño and La Niña, ENSO can influence weather patterns in many parts of the world”, said Höppe. “It currently looks as though a moderate El Niño will develop by the autumn, with warm water from the South Pacific moving from west to east, thus shifting wind systems and precipitation across the Pacific basin.”

La Niña prognosis for next year…hurricanes!

“Hurricane activity in the northern Atlantic normally decreases during El Niño phases. The number of typhoons in the northwest Pacific usually increases, but they make landfall more rarely. Tornado activity increases in the USA. “This gives a different distribution of losses across regions. Globally, our loss database NatCatSERVICE records no significant differences in overall losses in moderate El Niño years when compared to neutral years, whereas losses are significantly lower in years with a strong El Niño”, said Höppe. The stronger the El Niño, the more likely it is that there will be a La Niña in the following year, when hurricane activity tends to increase.”


11 responses to “Munich Re Report: Top 2014 Weather Catastrophe Losses Due To Cold-Related Events, “Record Harsh Winter”!”

  1. Ric Werme

    One could argue heat related events occur mainly in the second half of the year (I assume the North Temperate zone is the only zone that “counts”). OTOH, I though we had moved beyond merely warming and on to extreme weather. You know, sort of like what we had in the 1930s.

    BTW, don’t put too much faith in “It currently looks as though a moderate El Niño will develop by the autumn.” It’s looking pretty lame over the last month or so.

  2. Kurt in Switzerland

    H/T DirkH?

  3. DirkH

    Spiegel outraged that Abbott is not as socialist as the Eurocrats and won’t listen to demands of climate scientists to fix energy prices the way climate-socialism demands.

  4. DirkH

    Greens in the Red-Green government of Rhineland-Palatinate start initiative “Environmental protection against the Right” (German: Naturschutz Gegen Rechts); where they school anyone who wants to to “recognize and fight right wing-extremist environmental protection arguments”. The first summer camp of this kind found 20 willing leftists participating (or maybe forced by their parents to participate, we don’t know)
    Subject of the summer camp was also the use of the ruins of the Westwall, an old military defense structure, built between 1938 and 1940, as retreat for threatened species. Photo of said ruins.

    1. DirkH

      For the connaisseurs of sophisticated Green doublespeak in the German language, the Red-Green state government also offers this PDF (linked to from above article)

      1. DirkH

        Interestingly they claim that right wingers are Malthusians. So I guess that was that, Prof. Paul Ehrlich & Club Of Rome.

  5. Loodt Pretorius

    Off topic. Pierre, nobody will object to you putting four discrete flashing stars behind your No Tricks banner. It was such a marvelous goal!

  6. DD More

    USA tornadoes down 25% “The tornado season in the USA, which peaks from May to July, has been below average so far. The US weather agency NOAA recorded 721 tornadoes until end of June, in comparison to an average of 1,026 in the years 2005–2013.”

    Not quite. The 721 is the total ‘Preliminary Count”. This count is from weather radar and multiple field reports. Ground investigation and combining multiple sightings are then put together to obtain the ‘Actual Count’. But they do not go back and change the total preliminary count. Do that and end of June ‘Actual’ + preliminary not-verified = 655 USA tornadoes.

  7. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

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