Munich RE is one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. A reinsurance company provides insurance to ordinary insurance companies for the case of severe disasters that they are unable to cover out of their own funds. As such, Munich RE and other reinsurance companies are following the natural disaster trends very closely. Take a look at the following chart that Munich RE has created to summarize the natural disaster data.
The red line represents geophysical events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Since they are caused by events within the earth’s interior, scientists do not expect these to be affected by climate change. The number of natural disasters in this category has gone up somewhat, presumably due to increased population densities and other factors. The other three categories include catastrophic events such as storms, floods, extreme temperatures, drought, and forest fires -- all of which scientists tell us are made more likely by climate change. As you can see, these types of natural disasters have increased by a much greater percentage over the same time interval. Graphs like this strongly suggest that ever-increasing global warming is causing extreme weather events to become more and more likely. It also means that many types of “natural disasters” are not entirely natural any more.