First Symposium on Policy Research


The overlap in scientist's and reinsurer's interests in assessing, modeling, and monitoring the impacts of extreme climate events

Richard J. Murnane, Bermuda Biological Station for Research, Garrett Park, MD; and H. F. Diaz

Climate extremes engender a significant amount of scientific research because they not only affect society in numerous ways, but they also are inherently interesting. Although there is a large and wide-ranging community of scientists studying extremes there are significant questions regarding what topics are of most interest to people beyond the scientific community. The Risk Prediction Initiative, a science-business partnership based at the Bermuda Biological Station for Research, recently hosted a workshop that brought together (re)insurers and climate scientists interested in extreme events. Workshop participants sought to develop answers to questions of both scientific and business interest and to identify topics of mutual concern that could be the focus of future research. We will provide a summary of discussions that were stimulated by presentations from an international assemblage of scientists. Among the topics for discussion were: 1) the statistics and return periods most useful to scientists and (re)insurers for monitoring and assessing extreme events, 2) changes in event frequency in response to global warming, 3) the possibility of setting upper and lower bounds for alterations in extreme events, 4) information and observations needed to improve models and statistics of extreme events, 5) identifying which extreme events currently are of greatest relevance to the insurance industry and how these interests might change in the future.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (280K)

Session 2, Economics and Weather: Methods and Applications
Thursday, 2 February 2006, 8:30 AM-12:00 PM, A307

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