Looking at the period of December 2020 to February 2021, the latest Australian Actuaries Climate Index (AACI) released today has reported a mild summer with moderate temperatures.
Finity climate risk experts note such relatively calm seasons are not unexpected even if the long-term trend is for warming temperatures and more extreme weather.
“We expect climate change will involve occasional extreme events followed by periods of near-normal weather,” said Finity’s climate risk leader Rade Musulin, responsible for compiling the AACI.
The December to February analysis showed:
- Australia experienced the first below reference-period average extreme high temperature since 2012; however, the low temperature index continues to exhibit an increasing trend, with only one of the last 35 seasons showing a negative value for Australia as a whole.
- Extreme wind gusts have been significantly lower, with new low records being set in several parts of the country.
- La Niña brought more rainfall than usual, but no new records were set for extreme rainfall this summer; the extreme precipitation that led to flooding in eastern Australia occurred after the close of the period.
Even though the summer season was relatively quiet, the results for low temperatures and less extreme wind are noteworthy. “The low temperature results show warming continues, and there has been a documented global phenomenon known as stilling, where winds have been diminishing. While we are glad to see less extreme wind from a property damage perspective, less wind could affect renewable energy generation at some future point”, says Musulin.
The eventful climate is mirrored in the recent regulatory activity, where we are now seeing APRA and the UN call for increased management of financial risks of climate change.
Read more about the Australian Actuaries Climate Index and the latest analysis here.
Figure 1 - Australian Actuaries Climate Index: Extreme High Temperature Index
Figure 2 - Australian Actuaries Climate Index: Extreme Wind Index
Please contact our Climate Risk team if you wish to know more about the implications of APRA’s guidance for your organisation.
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