21. June 2011
Flooding in China
Munich Re believes that weather extremes such as the massive floods experienced by China since early June are due to the advance of climate change. The trend towards increasingly higher losses from natural catastrophe losses is primarily due to socio-economic factors. The population is growing, more and more people are moving into exposed areas, and at the same time property values are also rising. Yet it would seem that the growing number of weather-related catastrophes can only be explained by climate change. The view that weather extremes are more frequent and intense due to global warming is in keeping with current scientific findings as set out in the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report.
As Prof. Peter Höppe, Head of Munich Re’s Geo Risks Research unit, emphasised: "The devastating floods in China are of a dramatic dimension – a phenomenon that has unfortunately occurred in China with increasing frequency over the last few decades. Every year, millions of Chinese are victims of weather-related natural catastrophes. And the risk is steadily growing, for climate change harbours the potential for torrential downpours while the risk of drought in certain regions is also on the rise."
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