Natural disasters less devastating in 2017: Munich Re

From the AFP July 18, 2017

Disasters inflicted a financial cost of around $41 billion in the first six months, Munich Re reported (AFP Photo/SVEN HOPPE)


Frankfurt am Main (AFP) – Natural catastrophes worldwide were less devastating in the first half of 2017 than the average over the past 10 years, reinsurer Munich Re said Tuesday, while highlighting the role of climate change in severe US storms.

Some 3,200 people lost their lives to disasters between January and June, the German group found — well short of the 10-year average of 47,000 for the period or the 5,100 deaths in the first half of 2016.

April floods and landslides in Colombia that claimed 329 lives were the deadliest single event.

Elsewhere, an April-June heatwave in India killed 264 people, while floods, landslides and avalanches claimed around 200 lives in Sri Lanka, 200 in Afghanistan and 200 Bangladesh.

Disasters inflicted a financial cost of around $41 billion in the first six months, Munich Re reported.

That was less than half of the $111 billion toll in the same period last year, or the average of $102 billion over the past 10 years.

The most costly single event was flooding in Peru between January and March, which killed 113 people and inflicted damage worth around $3.1 billion, followed by Cyclone Debbie’s toll of 12 lives and $2.7 billion in Australia.

Three major storms in the United States, each causing around $2.0 billion of damage but no casualties, made up the rest of the top five costliest disasters.

“The high number of severe thunderstorms in the US is presumed to have been at least partially influenced by a natural climate phenomenon,” the reinsurer said.

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27 thoughts on “Natural disasters less devastating in 2017: Munich Re

  1. The chart from the GWPF post should have been run, as if violates the narrative of increasing natural disasters. Of course, the narrative of the green blob will not change–just you wait, Armagedon is coming right soon now.

  2. The climate alarmists have been very good at highlighting the alarming signs of the coming climate apocalypse, but are incapable of putting the disasters in the proper global context over many decades. Very good examples of this were in the comments accompanying some very high quality photographs by an eco-tourist Ashley Cooper, published by the Guardian last year. It was in promotion for a book.
    One section was on the Australian drought taken around 2009. By looking into the background I was able to debunk the claimed emerging trend.
    For instance a photograph was the dry bottom of Lake Elidon, Victoria when it was 29% full. It is possible to show graphs from Goulburn-Murray Water that demonstrated post 2009 the lake reached levels not seem since the 1990s.
    Another example was of a bush fires near Michelago, New South Wales, the inference being that it was caused by bush fires. I was able to reference the Munich Re website, which stated that most bush fires were caused by human activity, but not by changing climate. The increased severity of bush fires was due to the deliberate suppression of fires, increased resultant fuel load. David Evans expanded on the issue of fuel load in a 2013 article.
    If you want to objectively determine trends in climate, it is necessary to look at clearly defined criteria over long periods. Insurance claims can be misleading as they tend to go up far faster than inflation or indeed nominal GDP growth (Inflation plus growth). The fact they claims fallen after a couple of extremely warm El Nino years tends to undermine this worsening climate theory.

    • You said “If you want to objectively determine trends in climate, it is necessary to look at clearly defined criteria over long periods”. So we should ignore the reason that 90% of all glaciers are retreating. In fact the American Geological Survey, my source, has said that glaciers have lost 40% of their mass over the last 50 years. I know we only have 50 years of data so what do you think is causing this to happen. I have an idea, the planet is warming because we are burning huge amounts of fossil fuels adding more and more co2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These gases block radiated heat escaping into space. Simple physics really. By the way, you know who gathers climate data over long periods, climate scientists, now you don’t want to rely on their data do you?

      • Perhaps the same things that caused glaciers to retreat before we started “burning huge amounts of fossil fuels” are still causing glaciers to retreat. After all we know their extent was much greater in the distant past. Simple common sense really.
        It seems rather foolish to blame a long-standing phenomenon, like sea level, temperature and ice fluctuations on something that has happened very recently.

      • Great idea. Create an hypothesis, fail to test it and declare it settled science. You, sir, are fully qualified to do climate research.
        Glaciologists gather data on glaciers. There were no “climate scientists” before the mid-1900’s and no such degree until into the 21st century. If only climate scientists gather data on glaciers, we have less than 20 years of data.

      • “Simple physics really.”
        Ye gods…
        You really don’t have even the first, tiniest clue, do you?

  3. It would seem that projected the “C” in CaGW keeps getting smaller and smaller as time goes by.
    (Maybe that’s what they meaning by “tipping point”? The point where reality convinces most of the people not to buy it anymore?)

  4. But, But, But ….
    CO2 is higher.
    So disasters MUST be higher – more deadly, more costly, more disruptive – per the Grand Autonomous Unsupported Cult of Watermelons!
    Munich Re are Science deniers – even though they have collected, analysed and made public data.
    They MUST be deniers, because the Citrullus-folk shriek (ie ei; neither spelling looks right; but the noise continues!) that it is so!
    Because the Citrullus folk believe, you see!

    • Don’t worry. The data can be adjusted. Never fear. It will all work out to the disaster it must be.

  5. I’d love to see an in depth study of the Federation drought in Australia in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s on this blog. The heat was deadly.
    I believe that the alarmists refused to put the 6 years it lasted into calclations it released about global warming.
    The reason……it was too hot.

    • Nothing bad ever happened until the hydrocarbons industry scaled up. (Not counting several millennia of wood-burning, ox-harnessing, mule-whipping, etc. Those are biofuels, so they don’t count.)
      Ever since people got more methodical about 250 years ago, and the standard of living actually began to rise, the whole world has gone to hell. Better we should all be ungrateful, wallow in guilt, go ballistic and shred the last two centuries of progress, than admit anything good ever happens.

  6. It could be that disasters increase as it gets colder. In that case the alarmists, seeing the increase in disasters and ignoring the temperature, will claim that they were right. They will claim that the eventual mile thick ice sheet crushing Chicago is due to global warming and we should have listened to them.

      • Same amount as a 4 degree increase the global average temperature anomaly based on the 1961-1990 base period.

      • Sure, that vanishing ice of the 90% of the glaciers has to go somewhere. </sarc&gt for you.

  7. No. That can’t be right. “Everybody knows” that everything is bad and getting worse. If there’s any good news, someone’s lying, falsifying data, or trying to cheat clients out of insurance claims. The whole world is heading off a cliff, and someone must be blamed. Albert Gore says it’s true, so how can anyone doubt it?

  8. A misleading criterion that death rate. When there were a billion or two inhabitants on the Earth most lived in historically safe areas and population density was low. Now with 7 billion people, homes built in dry river beds, tornadoes and hurricanes ravaging cities where tee-pees stood for millennia, earthquakes, floods, etc. are impacting many more. Of course, it is more politically correct to blame climate change, man-caused implied, for the, usually, higher casualties.

    • Except that in those same countries -for example the Philipines and Bangladesh – deaths from cyclones are falling, thanks to a programme of evacuation, storm shelters and storm preparedness.
      the storms in Bangladesh are no less in power: the death toll, mercifully, is now lower because of local action.

  9. Dang it. I guess we sacrificed too many virgins at the previous winter solstice. Oh well. No sense going back now. Might as well build up a surplus of goodwill with mother Gaia while we can!

  10. Warren Buffett, who owns General Re, a large insurance company, has been saying that he has seen no evidence of growing insurance claims for some time. However, the alarmists continue to disregard this inconvenient truth.

  11. Perfect scam to raise premiums and keep them up – a looming climate disaster must have reserves set aside.
    After all, they can always point to the official government sources for their planning and rate making even if they internally know it is a scam.

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