Photo credit: alancleaver_2000, Flickr/CC BY
You may remember a few of the more unfortunate extreme weather events of 2010: There was the terrible heat wave that hit Russia, and lead to deaths by heat exhaustion in Moscow. Shortly after, there was tragic, unprecedented flooding in Pakistan. Those were but two weather-related events in what is apparently a record-breaking year for them. But don't take your friendly neighborhood blogger's word for it -- and don't trust those nefarious climate scientists, either. So, who should we turn to in order to verify such a claim? Why, the insurance companies of course!From the AFP:
Catastrophic floods in Pakistan, wildfires in Russia, hurricanes in Mexico: 2010 has so far been an "exceptional" year for weather disasters, German reinsurance giant Munich Re said Thursday.Hmmmmmm. Well, those insurance agents can't be trusted, either -- they probably just want to sell everyone extreme weather disaster insurance! It's another hoax! Alas, perhaps it's a better idea to trust the scientists after all: "Earlier Thursday, France's Academy of Science published a report written by 120 scientists from France and abroad stating that global warming was unquestionably due to human activity."
"This year really has been a year of weather records," Peter Hoeppe, an expert from Munich Re's Geo Risks Research department, told journalists. "The first nine months of the year have seen the highest number of weather-related events since Munich Re started keeping records," he added.
Hoeppe added that a clear pattern of continuing global warming was contributing to the natural disasters. 2010 has so far been the warmest since measurements began 130 years ago. New temperature records were set in Russia (37.8 degrees centigrade) and in Asia (53.5 degrees in Pakistan).