The Global Risks Landscape 2018: Extreme Weather Events

Extreme Weather Events a Major Risk

Source: World Economic Forum

The Global Risks Landscape identified extreme weather events as the combined most likely and highest impact risk of 2018. Extreme weather events like floods and storms cause major property, infrastructure, and/or environmental damage as well as loss of human life.

Environmental risks have grown in prominence over the 13-year history of the Global Risks Report. All five risks in the environmental category occupy the top-right quadrant of the 2018 report. This indicates higher than average perceptions of both likelihood and impact. Among the most pressing environmental challenges facing us as a world community is extreme weather events and temperatures.

We saw examples of these risks in action last year. Severe weather events in 2017 included unusually frequent major Atlantic hurricanes like Harvey, Irma, and Maria. According to the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index, September 2017 was the most intense month on record.

In the U.S. alone, weather events and natural disasters caused over $300 billion worth of damage in 2017. These extreme weather events also killed and displaced people throughout the country.

What the Experts are Saying

Alison Martin, Group Chief Risk Officer, Zurich Insurance Group commented:

“Extreme weather events were ranked again as a top global risk by likelihood and impact. Environmental risks, together with a growing vulnerability to other risks, are now seriously threatening the foundation of most of our commons. Unfortunately we currently observe a too-little-too-late’ response by governments and organizations to key trends such as climate change. It’s not yet too late to shape a more resilient tomorrow, but we need to act with a stronger sense of urgency in order to avoid potential system collapse.”

Avoid Too-Little-Too-Late with Weather Intelligence

No one can control Mother Nature. However, there are plenty of proactive steps organizations and governments can take to mitigate extreme weather event related risks.

One of these steps is investing in commercial-grade weather data services. Organizations that use real-time, hyperlocal weather data in tracking, visualization, and alerting tools are best prepared to make the right weather-related decisions.

Relying on advice from meteorologists is also another viable route for organizations around the world. If you’d like to learn more about how you can prepare and protect your organization from the devastating effects of weather-related risks, download of free Data and Decision-Making Ebook below.


What is the Global Risks Landscape 2018?

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report is a collaborative effort to identify risks that will impact future human development. The report is an annual collaborative effort that shares the perspectives of global experts and decision-makers on the most significant risks that face the world.

The report is based on the annual Global Risks Perception Survey (GRPS). This year’s responses suggest that experts are preparing for another year of heightened risks. 50% of answers pointed to an intensification of risks. You can learn more about the report on the World Economic Forum’s website.