‘Get ready for El Nino’: Triple La Nina could prove tipping point for next big drought – Daily – Insurance News

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A report by On Reinsurance Australia said this year’s triple-dip La Niña, which has caused insurance losses from floods, signals a move towards a prolonged drought cycle.

The report adds an insurance lens to a brief by ClimateLab scientist Ian Goodwin examining the links between long-term ocean circulation patterns and the most prominent climate drivers affecting Australia.

“Our analysis of historical climate simulations and model projections indicates a high likelihood of a return to a widespread El Niño-like climate in the coming decade due to an upcoming reversal in the fundamental ocean circulation in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Pacific Decadal Variance (PDV),” said Aon Senior Disaster Research Analyst Thomas. Mortlock says in a LinkedIn post.

“If this occurs, industry loss data suggest that this could result in lower flood, cyclone and overall insured losses in Australia over the coming decade, with potential consequences for bushfire and drought management.”

Wet weather in eastern Australia is associated with La Niña events, while the opposite event, El Niño, tends to bring droughts and bushfires, which generally lead to lower insurance losses compared to cyclones and floods.

The link between bushfire losses and El Niño is less clear than the link between La Niña events and hurricanes and floods.

The current triple La Niña is of similar magnitude to the 1892-95 and 1973-76 events, both of which caused significant PDV regime shifts, the report said.

“The historical record shows us that whenever PDV peaks in a triple- or double-dip La Niña like a persistent La Niña, it is preceded by a phase shift in PDV to El Niño-like conditions by at least a decade,” says Dr. Goodwin.

The report concludes that a moderate El Niño event during 2023-2025 could flip the PDV to El Niño, meaning the PDV is approaching a tipping point, creating upper ocean heat content in the subtropical southwest Pacific. Like the grid for next years.

“La Niña may not be done with us yet,” Ann says, and the potential for flooding and hurricane-related losses remains, but a compelling story is emerging for next year’s post.

“The big wet will quickly turn into the big dry,” the report said. “This will be good news for overall insured losses, but will also bring other broader social concerns associated with periods of low rainfall enhanced by background global warming.”

PDV is a relatively unknown quantity to reinsurers and insurers, but has the potential to lock in some form of weather stability on Australia’s east coast, and is an important factor to consider a decade from now.

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