After the hottest year on a record — a year in which heat waves scorched Europe and rivers evaporated; a year in which once again shattered the record for insurable losses due to natural catastrophes — what if the worst is still to come?
That’s because we’ve had it easy the last few years, with cool Pacific waters (“La Niña”) moderating global temperature rise by a crucial few tenths of a degree. But with ocean currents set to flip back to the better-known El Niño, we could see heat records shattered once again, argues Bill McGuire, author of “Hothouse Earth: An Inhabitant’s Guide.”
The result? Renewed droughts, falling crop yields, and higher food prices — which in turn fuel political unrest. Falling lake- and river levels in the American West threaten the hydro-electric dams California’s grid depends on. And warmer waters mean bigger hurricanes.
How these developments play out remains to be seen. But we can start to strategize now. Climate Alpha’s patent-pending scenario forecaster offers clients the ability to stress-test regions and real estate portfolios under conditions worse than even the most extreme effects modeled by the IPCC.
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