Extreme Weather in the US: Is It Climate Change or a Historical Pattern?

Devastating wildfires that have destroyed at least 347 homes in Colorado and cost more than $11 million to control. A bizarre derecho storm that killed 22 people and left 4.3 million people without electricity across 10 states. Record heat across the United States. It’s highly unusual – or is it? This summer’s extreme weather has many observers pointing to climate change and global warming as the cause; others argue it’s all part of long-term weather patterns. Either way, insurance companies that must anticipate and respond to natural catastrophes are in the center of the storm. Here’s how some of the experts are interpreting this season’s dramatic weather-related events and their implications for the insurance industry.
July 06, 2012


2. We Told You So

This is what global warming looks like at the regional or personal level. The extra heat increases the odds of worse heat waves, droughts, storms and wildfire. This is certainly what I and many other climate scientists have been warning about.

— Jonathan Overpeck, professor of geosciences and atmospheric sciences, University of Arizona

Source: Associated Press

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Satellite image of burn scar, via NASA Earth Observatory

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