Actuarial news and views from Cape Town and beyond

An Actuarial Look at Climate Change

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I found this article from 1999 by an actuary commenting on the involvement of actuaries and insurers in the debate on climate change.

It was interesting for me to see how he felt that actuaries had a very big role to play in the studies on climate change. At that time, some of the major insurers in the US had already been part of the major climate change discussions that took place in Kyoto and Geneva as well as being part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

This he however felt was not enough. At that time, he saw the value of insurers and specifically actuaries getting more involved in research on climate change. With climate conditions changing, this has major effects on the probabilities of adverse events occurring which actuaries would have to build into their models for the future.

There had been much doubt on the science on climate change where he outlined how actuaries collaborated with climatologists to create better models of global weather patterns and what factors affect them. Climatologists have the knowledge on the physical factors affecting the weather isolation but what he adds is that actuaries have the analytic skills and expertise of modelling events that have a multitude of factors affecting them.

The article also discusses some of the effects and studies done on the effect on mortality as a result of climate change. All in all, it is quite refreshing to see how actuarial work can (and does) help save the world. peara


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