Storm destruction made worse by climate change as claims top $200 million

Storm destruction made worse by climate change as claims top $200 million

Storm destruction made worse by climate change as claims top $200 million The Climate Council has said that it believes the damage toll from last week’s New South Wales storms was made worse by climate change.

Meanwhile, the ICA has released updated claims figures as insured losses have now hit $201 million with claims at 29,065 as of Friday.

The Climate Council highlighted the rise of global sea levels due to climate change which increased storm surges compared with previous years, which in-turn increased the extent and severity of flooding and coastal erosion.

Professor Will Steffen, a climate change expert and researcher at the Australian National University in Canberra, warned that the continued risk of climate change will only make future flooding and storm surges worse.

“Global sea level has already risen by about 20cm since the mid-19th century due to the warming of our oceans and melting ice sheets,” Steffen said.
 
“This means storm surges are riding on higher levels and have increased the damage when they hit land.
 
“As sea levels continue to rise, the extent of the damage caused by flooding will only get worse.”

Professor Steffen and the Climate Council warned that climate change could have a $226 billion effect on the commercial, industrial, road, rail and residential assets of Australia and that the recent storms highlight the new severity of Australian weather.

“In addition to driving sea level rise, climate change is making weather patterns more volatile with more time spent in dry spells but more intense rainfall when it does occur,” Professor Steffen said.
 
“The combination of rising sea level and increasing intensity of rainfall creates a double whammy effect driven by climate change, greatly increasing the risk of severe flooding.

“Australia is highly vulnerable to increasing coastal flooding because most of our cities, towns and critical infrastructure are located on the coast.
 
“Stabilising the climate system through deep and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions today is the only way to significantly reduce the level of risk that we face from coastal flooding in the second half of the century and beyond,” Professor Steffen warned.
4 Comments
  • A Broker 27/04/2015 10:22:17 AM
    Can you please stop quoting these Lunatics.
    We are sick and tired of hearing of all this nonsense and the educated punters fully understand that our Climate is cyclical and will always be cyclical. The issue we need to deal with is that a large number of geographies are now more densley populated that the past and that obviously creates more exposure to losses from Floods, etc.
    These same Lunatics are the ones who told us that all our dams would dry up and there would be no more rain and we were all doomed, which led to billions being spent on a Desalination Plant....the greatest white elephant for Sydney of recent times.
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  • Phil 27/04/2015 1:17:55 PM
    Totally agree. As a young bloke growing up in Sydney I vividly remember NSW flooding many times in the 50's & 60's, particularly around Maitland. It's nothing new. Our weather records going back 150 years tell us very little about how cyclic our Australian weather patterns are so its time we stopped blaming this so called climate change event which has happened many times over hundreds of thousands of years and guess what, it was not man made back then and is not now.
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  • Opinions 27/04/2015 1:36:28 PM
    Dear 'A Broker', what evidence do you have that Climate Change does not exist? Are you well educated in Weather Science, or someone who closes their eyes and hopes it goes away, rather blaming the cycle?

    A bit strong to call people lunatics without fully understanding the complexities of this issues.
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