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September 12, 2023

Jupiter August Climate News Wrap-Up: A Month of Extreme Events


As August 2023 came to a close, the world witnessed a month filled with extreme weather events, alarming climate reports, and discussions on the urgent need for climate action. Climate change, once considered a distant threat, is now an undeniable and immediate risk. 

Here are the most significant climate-related news and events that unfolded in August 2023, highlighting the pressing need for global action to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.

#1 Heatwaves Dominate Headlines

August 2023 was marked by scorching heatwaves in various parts of the world. Notably, the Pacific Northwest in the United States, traditionally known for its mild climate, experienced record-breaking temperatures. Cities like Portland and Seattle reached all-time high temperatures, leading to health emergencies and highlighting the vulnerability of urban areas to extreme heat. CNN covered the news about the summer of 2023 being the hottest on record as did Reuters

#2 Wildfires Rage Across Multiple Continents

The heatwaves were accompanied by a surge in wildfires globally. In the western United States, the Dixie Fire in California became the largest single wildfire in the state's history. Meanwhile, wildfires also ravaged parts of Europe, including Greece, Turkey, and Italy, further straining firefighting resources and causing immense ecological and economic damage.

Aerial view of burnt trees and blackened tree trunks in Greece.

#3 IPCC Releases Alarming Climate Report

In August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, sounding a dire warning about the escalating climate crisis. The report stated that the world is on the brink of irreversible damage, emphasizing the need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Failing to do so could result in catastrophic consequences, including more frequent and severe heatwaves, storms, and sea-level rise.

#4 The Role of Extreme Weather in Changing Insurance Underwriting 

As climate-induced disasters become more frequent and intense, they play a significant role in the rapidly changing insurance landscape. CNBC covered how some home insurers have opted to stop writing new policies in states heavily impacted by disasters including Florida and California. Insurers are raising prices, or reducing coverage, as weather events tied to climate change proliferate, and are introducing a new economic calculus for homeowners and homebuyers. From May 2021 to May 2022, 90% of policyholders saw their quoted annual premium increase compared to the previous year, according to Policygenius, with the average increase over $130.

Hurricane flooded houses in Florida residential area.

#5 Idalia Does Heavy Damage 

The Wall Street Journal covered how Idalia quickly became a hurricane from a traditional storm. Jupiter’s Rich Sorkin was quoted in the piece. “Forecasts for rapid intensification used to be rare, but as scientific knowledge and forecast skill continue to incrementally improve, we can expect to see more such forecasts,” said Rich Sorkin, chief executive of Jupiter Intelligence, which tracks climate risk.

#6 Agriculture Under Threat

Changing climate patterns are posing significant challenges to agriculture. Droughts, heatwaves, and shifting rainfall patterns are affecting crop yields and livestock, leading to concerns about food security. In August, discussions revolved around the need for sustainable agriculture practices, resilient crops, and innovative farming methods to address these challenges.

A view of a parched soybean field, barren and dry, depicting the effect of a record drought.

August 2023 was a month of reckoning, with climate change-related events and news dominating headlines. From record-breaking heatwaves to alarming reports from the IPCC, the urgency of addressing climate risk has never been clearer. The interconnectedness of climate change with other global issues, such as migration, biodiversity loss, and food security, underscores the need for comprehensive and immediate action.

As we move forward, it is crucial for individuals, communities, governments, and businesses to price their climate risk by assessing their physical assets and future impacts of climate change. Let Jupiter help you do that swiftly and seamlessly. Contact us today to request a demo.

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