Actuaries Climate Index™ Spring 2017 Data Released
Sea Levels in Atlantic, Gulf Coast Regions Keep Five-Year Moving Average at Current High
Washington, D.C., Arlington, VA, Schaumburg, IL, and Ottawa, ON (Jan. 17, 2018)—Organizations representing the actuarial profession in Canada and the United States today reported new Actuaries Climate Index™ data that reveals the five-year moving average of climate extremes across the two countries remains at the high recorded in winter 2016-17, driven by sea level changes in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions.
“Sea levels have overtaken high temperatures as the biggest single factor behind the record averages in climate extremes measured by the Actuaries Climate Index,” noted American Academy of Actuaries Senior Casualty Fellow Kevin Ryan, MAAA, FCAS. “Sea level measurements in the Atlantic coast and Gulf Coast regions were particularly important in keeping the moving index value at its current high level.”
The five-year moving average of the Actuaries Climate Index for spring 2017 was 1.14, the same value as reported in the previous quarter, which was a record. Sea level, one of the six components of the index, has been highest in recent years in the Southeast Atlantic region (from Virginia to Louisiana) and in the Southern Plains coastal region (Texas). Sea levels in the Central East Atlantic (from Maryland to Maine) and Northeast Atlantic (Canadian maritime) regions also contributed to the increased significance of the component.
In addition, the seasonal Actuaries Climate Index value in spring 2017 was 1.66, compared to 1.94 in winter 2016-17, making the spring the seventh consecutive season with an elevated value of above 1.5. The sustained elevated index value reflects continued deviation of climate extremes from historically expected patterns for the two countries.
The Actuaries Climate Index is based on analysis of seasonal data from neutral, scientific sources for the six different index components collected since 1961. The index measures changes in extremes of high and low temperatures, high winds, heavy precipitation, and drought, as well as changes in sea level, expressed in units of standard deviations from the mean for the 30-year reference period of 1961 to 1990 for the United States and Canada combined.
The index, sponsored by the American Academy of Actuaries, the Canadian Institute of Actuaries, the Casualty Actuarial Society, and the Society of Actuaries, 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.
Updated 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, bilingual organization and voice of the actuarial profession in Canada. Its 5,000+ members are dedicated to providing actuarial services and advice of the highest quality. 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 28,000 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.