“Climate-driven changes are already evident over the last few decades for severe thunderstorms, for heavy precipitation and flash flooding, for hurricane activity, and for heatwave, drought and wild-fire dynamics in parts of North America.” So concludes Munich Re, a top reinsurer, in a major new study that, for the first time, links the rapid rise in North American extreme weather catastrophes to manmade climate change, reports Joe Romm at Climate Progress. The study shows a nearly five-fold increase of weather-related loss events in North America for the past three decades, compared with an increase factor of 4 in Asia, 2.5 in Africa, 2 in Europe and 1.5 in South America. At the same time non-climatic events (earthquakes, volcanos, tsunamis) have hardly changed. Prof. Peter Höppe, who heads Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research unit, said: “… we have to regard this finding as an initial climate-change footprint in our US loss data from the last four decades. Previously, there had not been such a strong chain of evidence. If the first effects of climate change are already perceptible, all alerts and measures against it have become even more pressing.”
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