Reinsurance Company Links Global Warming To Billions In Natural Disaster Losses

Munich Re Group, the world’s largest reinsurer,
released figures for 2008 and identified global warming as the principal
factor behind $200 billion in losses last year.

Throughout the world, more than 220,000 people died
as a result of natural catastrophes last year, a number aided by a large number of tropical
and the devastating earthquake in
Sichuan Province, China.

“[W]hen temperatures increase…The weather machine
runs into top gear, bringing more intense severe weather events with
corresponding effects in terms of losses,” said
Dr. Peter Hoppe
, head of Geo Risks Research at Munich Re.

In terms of
insured losses, Hurricane Ike was
the most expensive individual event last year, with insured losses estimated at
$15 billion, a number which excludes claims covered under the National Flood
Insurance Program.  Overall cost of this
disaster fell around $30 billion, Reuters

Published: January 6, 2009