Natural disasters caused record losses in 2022


A report published last Wednesday by the reinsurer Swiss confirms that natural disasters caused millions of economic losses worldwide in 2022. Specifically, insured losses due to natural disasters reached the amount of 275,000 million dollars (about 255,000 million euros), of which only 45% were covered by insurance.

According to the report, insured losses from natural disasters once again exceeded $100 billion for the second consecutive year. These terrible natural events show that there has been exceptional inflation compared to previous years. In other words, there has been an average annual increase of 5-7% in insured losses over the past 30 years.

Martin Bertogg, head of catastrophic risk at Swiss Re, says the following regarding the increase in economic losses:

The extent of these economic impacts is explained in particular by the increased exposure of assets to natural risks, a vulnerability accentuated by inflation.martin bertogg

On the other hand, Jérôme Jean Haegeli, chief economist at Swiss Re, notes the following regarding the price increase:

As exposure increases and risk appetite diminishes, the price rally is likely to continue, with bids rising and conditions tightening further.Jerome Jean Haegeli

Hurricane Ian was the leading cause of economic losses, becoming the costliest natural disaster of the year 2022. Experts estimate that these losses caused losses of between $50,000 and $65,000 million. These losses exceeded those caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, one of the most destructive and deadliest hurricanes to occur in the Atlantic.


What do we mean by natural disasters?

Natural disasters refer to the enormous loss of material and human life caused by extreme natural phenomena. An example of natural disasters are volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.

There are several natural phenomena that we can predict when they will occur thanks to technological advances used by experts, but there are others that we do not know how and when they will manifest. The seismograph is a system that amplifies, detects and records earthquakes or small tremors caused by the movements of tectonic plates, as well as other movements and vibrations that occur on Earth.

The seriousness of natural disasters is measured in economic losses, as well as in the capacity of the population to rebuild the territories which have suffered the consequences of these natural phenomena. As a general rule, the trend followed by these natural phenomena is that they intensify over the years, since the heat wavesmega storms and earthquakes have occurred with increased frequency and intensity in recent decades.


“More ambitious” measures to adapt to climate change

The report “Climate change 2023: summary reportpresented last Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) It calls for “more ambitious” measures to adapt to human-induced climate change and halve greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030.

The report explains that if we are to keep temperatures 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will need to be reduced across all sectors during this decade. If we are to achieve this goal, we must start cutting these emissions today and nearly halve by 2030.

The consequences of these events manifest themselves on Earth in extreme weather events, which occur more frequently and with greater intensity, seriously affecting the most vulnerable populations. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proposes, among other solutions, the use of renewable energy, increased financing for climate investments and sustainable transport.

Sources: Editorial Ambientum, EFE VERDE, IPCC

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