The year 2019 will live long in the memory of Australians – the hottest and driest year on record, where towns ran out of water and bushfires destroyed thousands of homes. But this is just the beginning, with this decade likely to be the coolest this century.
Climate-related impacts such as the wildfires in the western United States will only become more severe if we allow the worst-case scenario to unfold by 2100. A new EarthTime visualization shows just how hot the world may become in 2100, within the life expectancy of today’s tween, 10-12-year olds.
Smoke from the West Coast traveled across the US this week and is now well on its way to Europe. From our HQ in NYC – the sky was hazy and the sun resembled the Eye of Sauron.
Climate change risk has plagued US insurers over the last several years and the severity is growing. A task force led by several US financial regulators issued a 200-page report warning that climate change poses “serious emerging risks to the U.S. financial system.” Many central banks in other countries are conducting climate “stress tests,” and, in Europe, many companies are now reporting their climate risks.
Riskthinking.AI helps clients better understand their climate-related financial risk so they know where their portfolios are exposed and can hedge or take other appropriate actions.
…the Electoral College also undermines the fight against climate change. If every additional vote in California, Oregon, and Washington—which between them boast roughly 50 million people—mattered as much as every additional vote in a swing state, Biden might have spent the past few weeks touring the West Coast and explaining how his plans can save its residents from a climate apocalypse that threatens to make their home unliveable. But the Electoral College rules that out. Biden has no incentive to run up his margin in three reliably blue states. Instead, he’s singularly focused on purple ones in the Midwest. So far this month, he’s visited Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and he’s headed to Minnesota next week. Conventional wisdom holds that in a Midwest built on fossil fuels and heavy industry, focusing on climate change is politically risky.
August besieged California with a heat unseen in generations. A surge in air-conditioning broke the state’s electrical grid, leaving a population already ravaged by the coronavirus to work remotely by the dim light of their cellphones. By mid-month, the state had recorded possibly the hottest temperature ever measured on earth — 130 degrees in Death Valley — and an otherworldly storm of lightning had cracked open the sky. From Santa Cruz to Lake Tahoe, thousands of bolts of electricity exploded down onto withered grasslands and forests, some of them already hollowed out by climate-driven infestations of beetles and kiln-dried by the worst five-year drought on record. Soon, California was on fire.
Riskthinking.AI examines and prices intersecting and cascading risks such as these using algorithmically-generated scenarios-tools and analytics.
California has experienced devastating autumn wildfires in recent years. These autumn wildfires have coincided with extreme fire weather conditions during periods of strong offshore winds coincident with unusually dry vegetation enabled by anomalously warm conditions and late onset of autumn precipitation. In this study, we quantify observed changes in the occurrence and magnitude of meteorological factors that enable extreme autumn wildfires in California, and use climate model simulations to ascertain whether these changes are attributable to human-caused climate change. We show that state-wide increases in autumn temperature (~1 °C) and decreases in autumn precipitation (~30%) over the past four decades have contributed to increases in aggregate fire weather indices (+20%). As a result, the observed frequency of autumn days with extreme (95th percentile) fire weather—which we show are preferentially associated with extreme autumn wildfires—has more than doubled in California since the early 1980s. We further find an increase in the climate model-estimated probability of these extreme autumn conditions since ~1950, including a long-term trend toward increased same-season co-occurrence of extreme fire weather conditions in northern and southern California. Our climate model analyses suggest that continued climate change will further amplify the number of days with extreme fire weather by the end of this century, though a pathway consistent with the UN Paris commitments would substantially curb that increase. Given the acute societal impacts of extreme autumn wildfires in recent years, our findings have critical relevance for ongoing efforts to manage wildfire risks in California and other regions.
The northwest part of the state, usually much wetter, has dried out this year, enabling flames driven by powerful winds to “just explode down these canyons.” Deadly wildfires are a major climate risk factor with which more and more cities in the Pacific Northwest are grappling.
A report commissioned by federal regulators overseeing the nation’s commodities markets has concluded that climate change threatens U.S. financial markets, as the costs of wildfires, storms, droughts and floods spread through insurance and mortgage markets, pension funds and other financial institutions. Riskthinking helps decision-makers better understand the climate-related financial risks they face and respond accordingly.
California is burning, a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 150 mph just blasted into the Louisiana coast, and nearly 180,000 are reported dead from a viral outbreak that is just a harbinger of what one scientist calls “a new pandemic era” driven in part by our changing climate and wanton destruction of ecosystems. While there are positive indicators that people are waking up to the growing threat of climate change, a much greater pace and scale of climate action is needed to stave off its worst effects. Riskthinking.ai provides clients with forward-looking scenarios tools that render a deeper understanding of the true cost of climate risk, in order to drive timely decision-making.
Extreme weather fuelled by climate change is on the rise- and so are the associated costs. In the last 40 years, 663 disasters linked to climate change in the United States killed 14,223 people. The total cost: an estimated $1.77 trillion, a bit more than Canada’s Gross National Product in 2018.