Last weekend we were sitting on our balcony, enjoying appetizers with friends, when the sky darkened and a wind fiercer than any we have experienced in the interior of British Columbia sent us inside. We dashed back out to rescue the flying chairs and table before they could crash through the glass doors.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada’s (IBC) new study warns Canadians “the frequency and severity of severe weather is on the rise,” and we had better prepare for it. “Telling the Weather Story” confirms the recent landslides, fires and drought are becoming the new norm.
Another study, this one published by Nature Geoscience, confirms the prediction. A team of Canadian and American scientists studied the drought of 2000 to 2004 and found it was the worst since the one that lasted from 1146 to 1151. They warn a “megadrought” could parch the planet through the entire 21st century.
Insurers have been hit hard by the impacts of catastrophic events. IBC reports insured losses internationally reached $10 billion to $50 billion a year over the past decade and exceeding $100 billion in 2011. In Canada alone insurers were on the hook for roughly $1.6 billion in 2011 and close to $1 billion annually in the previous two years. Aging infrastructure contributed to the losses, as older sewer systems are unable to handle the increased precipitation.
Next: Adaptation Strategies Are Urgent Need
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