November 29th, 2013

Week’s Top Stories: November 23 - 29, 2013

Posted at 8:00 AM ET

Space Debris Risk: Part I, Orbital Regions: The most serious threat to high-value satellites and space infrastructures in the Earth’s orbit today is the risk of collision with other satellites or space debris. As more satellites are sent into the Earth’s orbit to provide services and technology we now take for granted, including global communications and broadcasting, air traffic control, weather forecasting and disaster management, the area is becoming increasingly cluttered with satellites (operational and defunct) and other fragments, enhancing the risk of collision. Although deorbiting strategies are in place for some modern satellites, tens of thousands of objects still circulate the planet at extremely high speeds.

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Climate Change: A Look into the Future: Global climate models project a best estimate of a further two to four degree (Celsius) increase in the mean temperature of the Earth by the end of this century. Although this may seem insignificant on an intuitive level, the resulting impacts are of significant concern. Sea-level rise is the most significant threat for coastal areas as a result of melting glaciers. Apart from this threat, changing weather patterns will result in drought and inland flood threats for some areas. As a general principle of climate change, changes to the mean of meteorological extreme value distributions can be expected but an increase in tail thickness (or variability) is of greater concern. The day-to-day variability that we see today will likely expand.

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Solar Weather Activity: Solar weather is a space-related risk that has the potential to cause huge disruption to infrastructure and businesses around the world. Geomagnetic storm activity is not a new development but technological advancements and an increasingly interconnected global economy have resulted in increased vulnerability. Although extreme solar storms are relatively rare, there have been several notable recent events that have had a damaging impact on Earth. More are certain to occur in the future.

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Update: Super Typhoon Haiyan: Haiyan is among the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, and meets or surpasses the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in recorded history. Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on November 8 near Guiuan, with estimated 1-minute wind speeds of 185-195 mph (300-315 km/hr).

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Demand for Asia Pacific Catastrophe Reinsurance at a Record High in 2013: Total Asia Pacific catastrophe limit purchased in 2013 increased for the tenth year in a row, but once again failed to keep pace with strong gross domestic product growth in the region, according to a new report released today by Guy Carpenter.

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And, you may have missed…..

Indexation Clauses in Liability Reinsurance Treaties: A Comparison Across Europe: The Indexation Clause - otherwise referred to as the Stability Clause, Inflation Clause or Severe Inflation Clause (SIC) - is designed to maintain the real monetary value of the retention and (where applicable) the limit under a long-tail excess of loss reinsurance treaty over the duration of the claims payout pattern.

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