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Weather Related Losses Have been In Decline Since 1990

January 6, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




An interesting tweet from Roger Pielke Jnr.

We hear a lot about the ever increasing weather related losses, but measured as a percentage of GDP, it turns out that the reverse is true.

  1. Bloke down the pub permalink
    January 6, 2016 11:29 pm

    I guess that’s mostly driven by US hurricane and tornado damage. Is there an equivalent graphic for just the UK?

    • David Richardson permalink
      January 7, 2016 9:36 am

      I don’t know if that is easily available, but it might be.

      It strikes me though that you have to look globally because otherwise any recent losses in a smaller area skew your view. I am sure that people affected by the current flooding in the UK will not be pleased to hear the IPCC say there is no evidence of an increase in flooding. The good people of New Orleans devastated by Hurricane Katrina nearly 10 years ago might not easily be persuaded that Hurricanes in their part of the world are at a substantial low frequency – longest period since the Civil War (theirs not ours) without a CAT 3+ landfall in mainland USA.

      • Bloke down the pub permalink
        January 7, 2016 12:24 pm

        My reason for asking was that the US has high property value areas in regions susceptible to extreme weather. As a consequence, changes in US weather related losses will have an over influential impact on the global figure.

  2. David Richardson permalink
    January 7, 2016 9:53 am

    Slightly O/T but certainly related is the idea that the World is getting worse all the time – when the opposite is true. That is not to make light of the problems we do have.

    Fraser Nelson touches on this in the current edition of the Spectator.

    One of the books he mentions that document where we actually are – not where the Malthusians say we are, is Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist. I read the book when it came out and went to see him speak on the subject. It is full of examples of how time has changed for the better, but one that it is obvious but you don’t think about it is –

    ” How long do you actually have to work to earn an hour of reading light if you’re on the average wage in Britain today? And the answer is about half a second. Back in 1950, you would have had to work for eight seconds on the average wage to acquire that much light. And that’s seven and a half seconds of prosperity that you’ve gained since 1950, as it were, because that’s seven and a half seconds in which you can do something else, or you can acquire another good or service. And back in 1880, it would have been 15 minutes to earn that amount of light on the average wage. Back in 1800, you’d have had to work six hours to earn a candle that could burn for an hour. In other words, the average person on the average wage could not afford a candle in 1800.”

    Basic but prosperity has been the driver for all our development.

  3. January 7, 2016 12:52 pm

    Individual prosperity is the enemy of the left.

  4. Peter Langdon permalink
    January 8, 2016 2:51 pm

    From Gaia Fawkes:

    Guido has unearthed a gem from the FT’s archive. Back in 2013 Peter Wadhams told the FT that Arctic sea ice would disappear in the summer of 2016 Wadhams, who is head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge, claimed that we would see “the Arctic death spital”, going on to state:

    ““It could even be this year or next year but not later than 2015 there won’t be any ice in the Arctic in the summer”.

    Unfortunately for Peter, who describes himself as the leading authority on the Arctic sea ice, it didn’t disappear last summer, and is in fact in significantly better shape than when he made the prediction back in 2012. Last year the minimum Arctic sea ice extent was 4.41 million square kilometres, compared to 3.39 million square kilometres in 2012. How inconvenient…

    Peter of course predicted in The Guardian that the collapse in sea ice would trigger a significant increase in global warming:

    “As the sea ice retreats in summer the ocean warms up (to 7C in 2011) and this warms the seabed too. The continental shelves of the Arctic are composed of offshore permafrost, frozen sediment left over from the last ice age. As the water warms the permafrost melts and releases huge quantities of trapped methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas so this will give a big boost to global warming.”

    Again such predictions were wide of the mark, with no such vast increases having occurred in global warming since. Yet again the science gets in the way of Wadham’s overblown predictions…

    • January 9, 2016 6:01 pm

      He’s obviously a top notch scientist: unfortunately one of many “spouters” rather than scientists in this field.

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