Actuaries Climate Index Value Reaches New High
High Temperatures in Northwest and Southwest Pacific Region Drive Index Value Higher
Washington, D.C., Arlington, VA, Schaumburg, IL, and Ottawa, ON (June 28, 2017) —Organizations representing the actuarial profession in Canada and the United States today updated the Actuaries Climate Index™, an objective, quarterly measure of changes in extreme weather frequency and sea level. The Actuaries Climate Index value for fall 2016 was 2.07, the highest seasonal level recorded for the United States and Canada combined. The current five-year moving average is 1.07, the highest level recorded for that measure. The index is available online at ActuariesClimateIndex.org.
"We have now seen four of the last five seasons having an Actuaries Climate Index value over 1.50, compared to the 30-year reference period, which had no index values above 1.00. The fall 2016 data reflect a continued pattern of increased frequencies of extreme weather, with high temperatures being the most significant contributor to the increase," said Doug Collins, chair of the Climate Change Committee.
The Actuaries Climate Index is based on analysis of seasonal data from neutral, scientific sources for six different index components collected from 1961 to fall 2016. Index values are expressed in units of standard deviations from the 30-year reference period of 1961 to 1990.
Elevated values in the temperature component are helping drive the Actuaries Climate Index higher, particularly in the Northwest Pacific (British Columbia and Yukon Territory) and Southwest Pacific (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah) regions. These regions currently reflect their highest five-year average values, with both experiencing five seasons in the last five years with temperature component values over 3.00. Neither region had more than three seasonal component values over 3.00 in the prior 50 years.
The Actuaries Climate Index was developed by the Climate Change Committee, which was formed through a partnership of the American Academy of Actuaries, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and the Society of Actuaries. The index is designed to provide actuaries, public policymakers, and the general public with objective data about changes in the frequency of extreme climate events over recent decades. The index measures changes in extremes of high and low temperatures, high winds, heavy precipitation, and drought, as well as changes in sea level.
Updates for values are posted quarterly on ActuariesClimateIndex.org as data for each meteorological season becomes available. The organizations are also developing a second index, the Actuaries Climate Risk Index, to measure correlations between changes in the frequency of extreme events as measured by the index and economic losses, mortality, and injuries.
About the Sponsoring Organizations
The American Academy of Actuaries is a 19,000-member professional association whose mission is to serve the public and the U.S. actuarial profession. For more than 50 years, the Academy has assisted public policymakers on all levels by providing leadership, objective expertise, and actuarial advice on risk and financial security issues. The Academy also sets qualification, practice, and professionalism standards for actuaries in the United States.
The Canadian Institute of Actuaries (CIA) is the national organization and voice of the actuarial profession. The Institute is dedicated to serving the public through the provision, by the profession, of actuarial services and advice of the highest quality. In fact, the Institute holds the duty of the profession to the public above the needs of the profession and its members.
The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) is a leading international organization for credentialing and professional education. Founded in 1914, the CAS is the world’s only actuarial organization focused exclusively on property and casualty risks and serves over 7,000 members worldwide. Professionals educated by the CAS empower business and government to make well-informed strategic, financial and operational decisions.
With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world’s largest actuarial professional organization with more than 27,000 actuaries as members. Through research and education, the SOA’s mission is to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal challenges. The SOA’s vision is for actuaries to be the leading professionals in the measurement and management of risk.