Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Rising sea levels ranked as greatest climate change threat: Guy Carpenter

Insurance Journal: Guy Carpenter & Company has an analysis of the evolving risk landscape spurred by global warming, which stresses that “climate change, global warming and the resulting landscape shift for risk management is a growing area of concern among governments, the general public, the private sector and the (re)insurance industry at large.”

According to the report, “global warming is an established scientific fact that cannot be explained by natural variability alone.”

Johnny Chan, PhD, Director of the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, said: “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. 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.”

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “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. Although climate variability has been cited over past centuries, with supporting evidence dating back over the millennia, the rate of warming is believed to be unprecedented.”

James Waller, PhD, Research Meteorologist for GC Analytics®, 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. Estimates show that the mean temperature of the Earth could rise an additional two to four degrees Celsius [3.6°F to 7.2°F) 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 impacts worldwide.”...

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