Along the Icefields Parkway in Alberta between Banff and Jasper lie the Columbia Icefield and the Athabasca Glacier. A few years ago, as my husband and I were driving from Jasper to Lake Louise, he was telling me of the glacier he’d seen in the 70s — the ice skirted the side of the highway, and it was a marvel to see.
Except now, one has to walk a mile or so to see it. Along the way, there are signposts with dates — 1935, 1971, 1998, 2000 — each one marking where the glacier’s edge was before it melted back further toward the mountains.
Despite current political opinion in the US, the rest of the world is taking seriously the threat of climate change. In a recent post, Zurich Municipal underscored the importance of understanding and preparing for the results of climate change.
Citing the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research work, Zurich points to a worsening weather pattern and more of the same on the way. In fact, there’s mounting evidence that climate change could be the issue of 2017. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual measure of the average surface temperatures. 2016 was the hottest year on record — a 0.07 degrees Fahrenheit increase over 2015. That broke the record set in 2015, which was warmer than 2014. In fact, the record has been broken five times since 2000. NOAA sets the average world temperature at 58.69 degrees Fahrenheit, 1.69 degrees above the 20th century average.
It’s data shared by NASA, which released its own findings on climate change. According to NASA statistics, the global average temperature in 2016 was 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the mid-20th century mean, signaling the third consecutive year that a new global record has been set.
It begs the question: does risk management respond actively the potential increase in weather-related risks based on historic and current data?
How is your company addressing this issue?
Are political opinions influencing risk management decisions?