Atlantic Canada particularly hard hit by climate change, new index shows
Region has 4th highest index among 12 regions in the U.S. and Canada
A new index created by insurance industry groups suggests Atlantic Canada is seeing some of the worst effects of climate change in the United States or Canada.
The Atlantic Canada region is one of 12 studied in the Actuaries Climate Index. The region's five-year average as of winter 2016 was 0.77, the third highest. The region has often had the highest index over the last decade.
The index focuses on extreme weather, measuring six criteria.
- Very high temperatures.
- Very low temperatures.
- Five highest precipitation days in a month.
- Consecutive dry days.
- Strong winds.
- Sea level.
The Climate Actuaries Index Working Group compared current weather with 30-year averages from 1961-90 to create the index.
"Actuaries as a group wanted to look at the phenomena of climate change because it does impact the insurance industry," said Caterina Lindman, chair of Climate Actuaries Index Working Group.
"We created an index just looking at how frequently those extreme weather events happened. The frequency has increased since the reference period."
Lindman said it is likely insurance rates will increase as a result of the findings in the index.
The Climate Actuaries Index Working Group is a joint effort funded by the American Academy of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, and the Society of Actuaries, and also supported by years of volunteer work by actuaries across the continent.
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With files from Laura Chapin