Beyond Katrina: Lessons In Creating Resilient Communities
Summary: Zurich North America and the Wharton Risk Center’s whitepaper Beyond Katrina: Lessons In Creating Resilient Communities, outlines new flood resilience strategies and identifies the need to devote more resources to preventive measures rather than post-event disaster relief, and overcoming current infrastructure vulnerabilities
Usefulness and limitations of global flood risk models
Author(s): Ward, P.J., Jongman, B., Salamon, P., Simpson, A., Bates, P., De Groeve, T., Muis, S., Coughlan de Perez, E., Rudari, R., Trigg, M.A., Winsemius, H.C.
Summary: Global Flood risk models were developed to identify risk hotspots in a world with increasing flood occurrence. This commentary assesses the ability and limitations of the current models and suggests what is needed moving forward
Financial Institutions 2025 Risk Index
Summary: Regulation, IT costs and macro-economic factors rank highest in Willis’s Financial Institutions Risk Index. The survey also revealed that only 40% of C-suite executives believe the financial sector’s ability to manage risk has materially changed for the better over the past twelve months
Drivers of the 2013/14 winter floods in the UK
Author(s): Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, David B. Stephenson, Andreas Sterl, Robert Vautard, Pascal Yiou, Sybren S. Drijfhout, Hans von Storch & Huug van den Dool
Summary: In their section on ‘Weather and climate change drivers’, Huntingford et al.1 propose various driving mechanisms for the record precipitation that caused flooding in southern England in the winter of 2013/14. This comment from Oldenborgh et al. responds with evidence derived from a statistical analysis of past data.
Resilience Issue 6: Data Vision
Field(s): WRN Research
Summary: In the latest issue of Resilience eMagazine, Willis experts keep you fully briefed about political hotspots, financial megatrends, cyber vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure, forecasting catastrophes, and more.
CEDIM Forensic Disaster Analysis Group on Nepal Earthquake
Author(s): James Daniell (KIT/Earthquake Report) et al
Summary: The 25th April 2015 Magnitude 7.8 Nepal is one of the largest earthquakes observed in Nepal for almost 80 years
Natural Resources Market Review April 2015
Summary: Which Energy insurers will win out in today’s soft market? How can buyers benefit? Willis Natural Resources Review Editor Robin Somerville takes an in-depth look at today’s Energy market dynamics
Big Data Revolution: What farmers, doctors and insurance agents teach us about discovering big data patterns
Author(s): Rob Thomas, Patrick McSharry
Summary: Exploit the power and potential of Big Data to revolutionize business outcomes
Willis Resilience Issue 05
Summary: Solutions for a risky world
Post Magazine - A bright new age for forecasting
Summary: Professor Pier Luigi Vidale, Senior Academic, Willis Research Network talks about the possibilities of the new Met Office supercomputer capacities for the insurance industry
Extratropical Cyclones Lothar and Martin
Summary: Between the 26th and the 29th December of 1999, two significant storms, Lothar and Martin, affected large parts of Europe in rapid succession causing about €8.3 billion of insured losses. The windstorms were the most severe since 1990 and arrived after windstorm Anatol had already hit hard Denmark three weeks earlier.
Seasonal Climate Impact Prediction
Author(s): James Done
Summary: We couldn’t possibly have anticipated Hurricane Sandy in advance of the season, or could we? Seasonal climate forecasts have been produced routinely for many years yet their uptake by the industry has been slow. Given that insurers and reinsurers live and die by high-impact weather and climate events why is this?
Next Generation Research and Innovation Networks
Author(s): The LEGO Foundation
Summary: REPORT: To inspire a network on learning through play This case report inspires us to think about a new space for supporting a community of engaged actors who are passionate about children, learning and creativity, and who believe that educational systems are pivotal to making real and sustainable changes
Data-Driven Business Models: Challenges and Opportunities of Big Data
Author(s): Monica Bulger, Greg Taylor, Ralph Schroeder
Summary: This report draws on interviews with 28 business leaders and stakeholder representatives from the UK and US in order to answer the following questions: • How is (big) data being used; what is a ‘big data business model’? • What are the main obstacles to exploitation of big data in the economy? • What can and should be done to mitigate these challenges and ensure that the opportunities provided by big data are realised?
Upper tail dependence in rainfall extremes: would we know it if we saw it?
Author(s): Francesco Serinaldi, András Bárdossy, Chris G. Kilsby
Field(s): Upper tail dependence Extreme events Binary correlation Binary entropy Rainfall Peak over threshold analysis Collective spatial risk
Summary: The simultaneous occurrence of extreme events, such as simultaneous storms and floods at different locations, has a serious impact on risk assessment and mitigation strategies. The joint occurrence of extreme events can be measured by the so-called upper tail dependence (UTD) coefficient λ U.
Dismissing return periods!
Author(s): Francesco Serinaldi
Field(s): Return period Nonstationary frequency analysis Multivariate frequency analysis Copulas Risk of failure Design values Design life
Summary: The concept of return period in stationary univariate frequency analysis is prone to misconceptions and misuses that are well known but still widespread...
Groundwater fluxes in a shallow seasonal wetland pond: The effect of bathymetric uncertainty on predicted water and solute balances
Author(s): Mark A. Trigg, Peter G. Cook, Philip Brunner
Summary: The successful management of groundwater dependent shallow seasonal wetlands requires a sound understanding of groundwater fluxes. However, such fluxes are hard to quantify. Water volume and solute mass balance models can be used in order to derive an estimate of groundwater fluxes within such systems. This approach is particularly attractive, as it can be undertaken using measurable environmental variables, such as; rainfall, evaporation, pond level and salinity. Groundwater fluxes estimated from such an approach are subject to uncertainty in the measured variables as well as in the process representation and in parameters within the model. However, the shallow nature of seasonal wetland ponds means water volume and surface area can change rapidly and non-linearly with depth, requiring an accurate representation of the wetland pond bathymetry. Unfortunately, detailed bathymetry is rarely available and simplifying assumptions regarding the bathymetry have to be made. However, the implications of these assumptions are typically not quantified.
Forecast cooling of the Atlantic subpolar gyre and associated impacts
Author(s): Hermanson et al.
Field(s): Climate dynamics, Impacts of global change
Summary: Decadal variability in the North Atlantic and its subpolar gyre (SPG) has been shown to be predictable in climate models initialized with the concurrent ocean state. Numerous impacts over ocean and land have also been identified.
Integrating Natural Disaster Risks & Resilience into the Financial System
Author(s): Rowan Douglas
Field(s): Willis Research Network
Summary: Integrating disaster risk and resilience into the financial system provides the structural and proportionate means of saving millions of lives and livelihoods in the coming decades and protecting US$ billions in homes, assets and property in a cost effective and rational way when weighed against competing priorities.
The impact of uncertain precipitation data on insurance loss estimates using a flood catastrophe model
Author(s): C. C. Sampson, T. J. Fewtrell, F. O’Loughlin, F. Pappenberger, P. B. Bates, J. E. Freer, and H. L. Cloke
Field(s): Climate Change, Atmospheric science
Summary: Catastrophe risk models used by the insurance industry are likely subject to significant uncertainty, but due to their proprietary nature and strict licensing conditions they are not available for experimentation. In addition, even if such experiments were conducted, these would not be repeatable by other researchers because commercial confidentiality issues prevent the details of proprietary catastrophe model structures from being described in public domain documents. However, such experimentation is urgently required to improve decision making in both insurance and reinsurance markets.