Insured natural catastrophe losses of $34 billion in the first half of the year are in line with previous years, but the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, Munich Re reported.
The reinsurer’s figures show that natural catastrophe losses were lower in the first half of the year than in the same period last year. Floods, earthquakes and storms caused total losses of $65 billion, compared to $105 billion in the loss-heavy first half of 2021.
Floods in Australia saw the highest insured losses at $3.7 billion. But the United States dominated the numbers with $28 billion in economic losses and $19 billion in insured losses. Europe was simultaneously hit by extreme heat, forest fires and drought on top of winter storms.
Torsten Jeworrek, board member at Munich Re, said the first half was dominated by weather-related disasters.
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And Ernst Rauch, chief geo and climate scientist at Munich Re, said this year̵7;s losses highlight the growing impact of climate change.
“They may all be individual events with different causes, but together one thing becomes extremely clear: the powerful influence of climate change is becoming increasingly clear and the consequences for people around the world are becoming increasingly tangible,” he said.
“(The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has made an even clearer diagnosis, saying that weather-related disasters such as heat waves, torrential rains or droughts on a warmer Earth will increase in both frequency and intensity,” he said. “Heatwaves tend to be longer and bring more extreme temperatures. This will differ from region to region. In Europe, it will be the south that will be hardest hit.”