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Review of Weather Event
Statement in
Insurance Bureau of Canada’s
Telling the Weather Story
prepared by
Institute for Cata...
Content
• Overview
• Telling the Weather Story Statement on Increased Frequency of
Storms and Weather Events
• Contrary An...
Overview
• Telling the Weather Story makes a statement on the increased frequency
of storms and weather events, indicating...
Weather Story Statement
• Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) report for Insurance Bureau of
Canada (IBC) stat...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Environment Canada Report 2011
• Environment Canada’s Adaptation and Impacts Research Climate R...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Environment Canada Report 2014
• Environment Canada staff have published a paper in Atmosphere-...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Environment Canada Data
• Environment Canada’s publishes rainfall intensity and frequency data ...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s Toronto Bloor Street rainfall data show ...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s Toronto Bloor Street rainfall decreasing...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s Pearson Airport decreasing and increasin...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing sho...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing sho...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing sho...
Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows more statistically significan...
Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing ...
Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing ...
Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing ...
Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data show showing decreasing and incr...
Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends
• Environment Canada’s data shows some increasing short dura...
Weather Story Review – Frequency Shift Theory
• The Telling the Weather Story presentation describes shifts in average and...
Weather Story Review – Frequency Shift Error
• After presenting data on observed temperature shifts of many degrees, an er...
Weather Story Review – Frequency Shift Data
• A 40 year to 6 year return period shift is based on a one standard deviation...
Weather Story Review – IPCC Source Review
• The Telling the Weather Story release presentation references an Intergovernme...
Weather Story Review – Comparison to Actual Data
• The Telling the Weather Story’s one standard deviation, bell curve shif...
Weather Story Theory as Fact - Economics
• The Telling the Weather Story’s statement “weather events that used to happen
e...
Weather Story Theory as Fact - Economics
• Media reports substitute ‘storms’ for ‘weather events’ and associates storm
fre...
Weather Story Theory as Fact - Economics
• Media reports substitute ‘storms’ for ‘weather events’, although the IPCC refer...
Weather Story Theory as Fact - Policy
• A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Canada by the Canadian Chamber of
Commerc...
Weather Story Theory as Fact – Policy
• Economists have have repeated the theory of frequency shifts as fact, e.g., “The
r...
Weather Story Theory as Fact - Policy
• Policy organizations repeat the statement from economic analysis, substituting
‘st...
Weather Story Theory as Fact - Policy
• More policy organizations repeat the statement cited from the Toronto Star,
substi...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• Media have related the Weather Story statement on ‘weather events’ to ‘heavy
rainf...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• The media reports that “the weather has changed” including “more torrential rain”
...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• IBC substitutes ‘extreme weather events’ for ‘weather events’, describes trends in...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• Insurance industry credits Weather Story statement to Environment Canada
although ...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• Insurance industry again credits Environment Canada to promote Aviva Water
Protect...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• Insurance industry repeats Weather Story statement and substitutes ‘extreme
weathe...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• Insurance industry indicates ‘greater instances of extreme weather’ and ‘storms
ha...
Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d)
• Insurance industry cites “days of rain” instead of data related to extreme storms ...
Progression of “Weather Story”
• Started with a theoretical
discussion from IPCC on the
changes in the distribution of
tem...
Summary
• A theoretical discussion from the IPCC on the changes in the distribution of temperature has
been convoluted int...
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Storm intensity not increasing - factual review of engineering data - Canada and Ontario

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Storm Intensity Not Increasing. Review of Weather Event Statement in Insurance Bureau of Canada’s “Telling the Weather Story” prepared by Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. Environment Canada analysis and engineering dataset review for Canada and Ontario, July, 2015. "Old extremes are the new normal".

As illustrated through these slides, Telling the Weather Story makes a statement on the increased frequency of storms and weather events, indicating that in parts of Canada, events that occurred every 40 years are occurring every 6 years, due to climate change.

The statement on increased frequency is unfounded as (based on ICLR's IPCC source and material and IBC's presentation to the Empire Club of Canada) it is based on a theoretical shift in temperature frequency from a global climate change report, and is contrary to Environment Canada’s actual analysis and data on local rainfall intensity trends.

The Telling the Weather Story statement on increased storm intensity, based on temperature theory has been i) embraced as rainfall facts and research by many organizations, ii) embellished to apply to extreme rainfall, and iii) considered in policy and economic reports. Organizations promoting the misinformation in the statement include TD Economics, The Toronto Star / thestar.com, CBC News, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Institute Centre for Civic Governance, Civic Action, CBC Doc Zone, The Calgary Sun, CanadianUnderwriter.ca, Aviva Canada, Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Due to the unfounded Telling the Weather Story Weather Story statement, policies and efforts toward mitigating increasing urban flood damages may be misdirected to climate change mitigation, as opposed to more effective risk identification/management efforts, urban planning / stormwater management policies and infrastructure remediation / capital investment efforts that address the root causes of increased damages, not related to theoretical storm frequency shifts.

It is an inconvenient truth that increases in temperature, and in theory water vapour, have not translated into increased rainfall intensities. Research at MIT and Columbia in fact states the contrary, that rainfall intensities can decrease at higher temperatures and that intensities are governed by CAPE and not temperature.

Environment Canada has been correcting false reporting by the insurance industry on this topic of increasing rainfall frequency, for example correcting CBC reporting:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/more-than-half-of-homeowners-insurance-claims-stem-from-water-damage-broker-says-1.3291111

Or recent reporting in Canadian Underwriter, specifically on the Weather Story:

http://www.canadianunderwriter.ca/insurance/new-ibc-flood-model-shows-1-8-million-canadian-households-at-very-high-risk-1004006457/

Published in: Environment
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Storm intensity not increasing - factual review of engineering data - Canada and Ontario

  1. 1. Review of Weather Event Statement in Insurance Bureau of Canada’s Telling the Weather Story prepared by Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction Robert J. Muir, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.
  2. 2. Content • Overview • Telling the Weather Story Statement on Increased Frequency of Storms and Weather Events • Contrary Analysis and Data – Environment Canada Reports – Environment Canada Data (now Environment and Climate Change) – Local and National Rain Intensity Trends • Telling the Weather Story Data Review – Frequency Shift Theory and Error – Frequency Shift Data and Source Review – Comparison to Actual Data • Telling the Weather Story Theory as Fact – Economic Reports / Strategies – Policy (Chamber of Commerce, Energy Policy, Local Civic Policy) – Insurance (Premium Costs/ Endorsement Advertising) • Summary Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 2
  3. 3. Overview • Telling the Weather Story makes a statement on the increased frequency of storms and weather events, indicating that in parts of Canada, events that occurred every 40 years are occurring every 6 years, due to climate change – Environment Canada IDF data is cited as the source but not provided / not available through the authors. • The statement on increased frequency is unfounded as it is based on a theoretical shift in temperature frequency from a global climate change report, and is contrary to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s actual reports, analysis and data on local rainfall intensity trends. • The Telling the Weather Story statement, based on temperature theory has been i) embraced as rainfall facts and research by many organizations, ii) embellished to apply to extreme rainfall, and iii) considered in policy and economic reports. • The unfounded association of increased flood damages to increased rainfall frequency can misdirect mitigation policies and efforts from the root causes of increased flood damages and toward low ROI efforts (e.g., away from infrastructure rehabilitation and comprehensive risk management policies and pricing, and instead toward other actions to address erroneous storm frequency shifts). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 3
  4. 4. Weather Story Statement • Institute of Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) report for Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) states there is an increasing frequency of weather events, including storms, due to climate change (page 15). • A shift in event “return period” from 40 years to 6 years is noted (a rare storm event with a previous 2.5% chance per year (1/40), now has a 17% chance per year (1/6)) • The general type of data used by Environment Canada to characterize storm severity is noted in the reference (page 64), but no actual analysis is provided. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 4
  5. 5. Contrary Analysis & Data - Environment Canada Report 2011 • Environment Canada’s Adaptation and Impacts Research Climate Research Division reviewed Canadian and Ontario rainfall analysis and found only non-significant trends in intensity, and reported both increases and decreases in storm severity, contrary to the Telling the Weather Story statement. • The Environment Canada report Methodologies to Improve Rainfall, Intensity- Duration-Frequency (IDF) Estimates, A Southern Ontario Pilot Study (December 2011) describes Canadian and Southern Ontario data in Chapter 6 -IDF Information in a Changing Climate : – Canada (page 75): “The majority of trends in daily, multi-day (i.e. 3-, 5-, 10- day) and sub-daily rainfall have been determined to be non-significant, varying with duration of precipitation and regional location, and including decreases as well as increases.” – Ontario (page 78) “… within Ontario, a number of studies have conducted a trend analysis of Environment Canada’s short-duration rainfall intensity data (Adamowski and Bougadis, 2003; Adamowski et al., 2010; Bruce et al., 2007; Klaassen and Seifert, 2006; Zhang and Burn, 2009; Hogg and Hogg, 2010). The majority of the trends were determined to be non-significant with no simple patterns or uniform rates of change evident in the short duration rainfall.” Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 5
  6. 6. Contrary Analysis & Data - Environment Canada Report 2014 • Environment Canada staff have published a paper in Atmosphere-Ocean entitled Trends in Canadian Short‐Duration Extreme Rainfall: Including an Intensity– Duration–Frequency Perspective, by Mark W. Shephard, Eva Mekis, Robert J. Morris, Yang Feng, Xuebin Zhang, Karen Kilcup & Rick Fleetwood (November 2014). • The report indicates no 40-year to 6-year frequency shift (i.e., Weather Story 1 standard deviations shift in the mean of rainfall probability density function), shows both increases and decreases in extreme rainfall frequency across Canada, and only a few percentage of statistically significant increases or decreases, e.g. : – (Abstract): “The single station analysis shows a general lack of a detectable trend signal, at the 5% significance level … 30-minute to 24-hour durations show that, on average, 4% of the total number of stations have statistically significant increasing amounts of rainfall, whereas 1.6% of the cases have significantly decreasing amounts. – “For the shortest durations of 5–15 minutes, the general overall regional trends in the extreme amounts are more variable, with increasing and decreasing trends occurring with similar frequency…” – “This indicates that at most locations across Canada the traditional single station IDF assumption that historical extreme rainfall observations are stationary (in terms of the mean) over the period of record for an individual station is not violated.” Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 6
  7. 7. Contrary Analysis & Data - Environment Canada Data • Environment Canada’s publishes rainfall intensity and frequency data and analysis for weather stations across Canada through its “Engineering Climate Datasets” • Data including trends are readily available for 563 locations across Canada from this site: http://climate.weather.gc.ca/prods_servs/engineering_e.html • Example rainfall data and statistics for the Toronto Bloor Street weather station are shown below. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 7
  8. 8. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s Toronto Bloor Street rainfall data show decreasing trends in intensity for all storm durations 5 minutes to 24 hours, some statistically significant decreasing rainfall maxima (file: idf_v2-3_2014_12_21_615_ON_6158355_TORONTO_CITY_t.png) Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 8
  9. 9. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s Toronto Bloor Street rainfall decreasing trends in intensity result in lower extreme value statistics for drainage design (files: idf_v2- 3_2014_12_21_615_ON_6158355_TORONTO_CITY.txt for version dataset 2.3 to 2007, version 1 to 2003 and hardcopy records to 1990) Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 9
  10. 10. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s Pearson Airport decreasing and increasing trends in extreme value statistics for drainage design even after record 2013 event (files: idf_v2- 3_2014_12_21_615_ON_6158731_TORONTO_INTL_A.txt for version dataset 2.3 to 2013, to 2007 per v2.2, to 2003 per v1, to 1990 per hardcopy records) Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 10
  11. 11. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing short duration intensities in Ontario and notes trends are not significant (Heather Auld, Principal Climate Scientist Risk Sciences International, “Climate Adaptation Tools: Extreme Rainfall Intensity-Duration- Frequency (IDF) Curves” , slide 39 shown below). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 11
  12. 12. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing short duration intensities at Ontario long term stations (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt Ontario stations with 45+ years of record and last year of data within last 10 years). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 12
  13. 13. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing short duration intensities at Ontario long term stations (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt Ontario stations with 45+ years of record and last year of data within last 10 years , showing correlation to EC trend plots). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 13
  14. 14. Contrary Analysis & Data - Local Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows more statistically significant decreasing intensities at Southern Ontario stations (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt Ontario stations with latitude below 44 degrees). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 14
  15. 15. Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing short duration (minutes) and long duration (hours) intensities, and few statistically significant trends across Canada as shown in the table summary below for long term stations (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most recent trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt stations with 45+ years of record and last year of data within last 10 years). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 15 No statistically significant upward or downward trends (West) More statistically significant downward than upward trends (Ontario) More statistically significant upward than downward trends (East)
  16. 16. Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing short duration (minutes) and long duration (hours) intensities across Canada, few significant trends as shown in the graphical summary below (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most recent trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt). • Few weather stations show statistically significant increasing trends (only 3% of short duration data including 5, 10 and 15 minute durations). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 16
  17. 17. Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows decreasing and increasing short duration (minutes) and long duration (hours) intensities across Canada, few significant trends as shown in the tabular summaries below grouped by province or territory for each rainfall duration (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most recent trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt). • Trend counts are predominantly not statistically significant for all storm durations. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 17
  18. 18. Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data show showing decreasing and increasing short duration (minutes) and long duration (hours) intensities across Canada have been mapped across Canada (R. Muir summary of Engineering Climate Datasets, version 2.3, per Environment Canada’s most recent trend file idf_v_2-3_2014_12_24_trends.txt linked to station coordinates in online mapping, per http://www.cityfloodmap.com/2015/12/canadian-extreme-rainfall-map-climate.html). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 18
  19. 19. Contrary Analysis & Data - National Rainfall Intensity Trends • Environment Canada’s data shows some increasing short duration intensities due to the increasing sample size for a skewed rain distributions (known skew in Toronto IDF data and annual maxima per Environment Canada, observed sample mean is underestimated for small samples and only approaches true population mean per Kirk G. Fleming's article "Yep, We’re Skewed", VOLUME 2/ISSUE 2 CASUALTY ACTUARIAL SOCIETY – greater coefficient of variation requires larger samples to reach true mean) • Increases over time is statistically expected and does not reflect an underlying change in the fundamental rainfall ‘population’ characteristics over time (e.g., climate change). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 19
  20. 20. Weather Story Review – Frequency Shift Theory • The Telling the Weather Story presentation describes shifts in average and extreme climate data using a theoretical “bell curve” with no actual climate data. • A whole standard deviation shift in the average is shown to make extremes more frequent (40 year event becomes a 6 year event in a standardized bell curve). Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 20
  21. 21. Weather Story Review – Frequency Shift Error • After presenting data on observed temperature shifts of many degrees, an error appears to be made associating “rainfall rate of so many millimetres per hour” with a 40 year to 6 year frequency shift if “you just shift the mean by one degree’. • The association of rainfall event frequency is inconsistent with IPCC discussion on temperature frequency, and the stated shift of ‘one degree’ is inconsistent with a one standard deviation shift in bell curve average required for a 40 to 6 year shift. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 21
  22. 22. Weather Story Review – Frequency Shift Data • A 40 year to 6 year return period shift is based on a one standard deviation shift in the mean of a standard normal distribution, or bell curve. Cumulative probability tables show this theoretical shift from z = 1.96 to z = 0.96 (i.e., mean shift of 1.0). Exceedance probability of P = 17 % with z= 1.96 - 1.00 = 0.96 Return period of 1/P = 6 years Exceedance probability of P = 2.5 % with z= 1.96 Return period of 1/P = 40 years Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 22
  23. 23. Weather Story Review – IPCC Source Review • The Telling the Weather Story release presentation references an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that discusses general aspects of climate data variations (shifts in statistical average, variability and skew), but does not analyze actual data and references only temperature, and not rainfall. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 23
  24. 24. Weather Story Review – Comparison to Actual Data • The Telling the Weather Story’s one standard deviation, bell curve shift in climate data average contradicts Environment Canada data trends for rain intensity. “Weather Story” increase from 16.5 mm to 23.1 mm over 15 minute duration (one standard deviation increase of 6.6 mm) Actual decreasing trend “Weather Story” increase from 29.7 mm to 40.4 mm over 2 hour duration (one standard deviation increase of 10.7 mm) Actual decreasing trend “Weather Story” increase from 48.3 mm to 63.1 mm over 24 hour duration (one standard deviation increase of 14.8 mm) Actual decreasing trend Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 24
  25. 25. Weather Story Theory as Fact - Economics • The Telling the Weather Story’s statement “weather events that used to happen every 40 years are now happening once every 6 years in some regions of the country” appears to be based on theoretical bell curve shift in weather that is contrary to Environment Canada data and analysis. • However economists repeat the theoretical statement as fact in their analysis. • “severe weather” has been substituted for Weather Story’s theoretical statement on “weather events”. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 25
  26. 26. Weather Story Theory as Fact - Economics • Media reports substitute ‘storms’ for ‘weather events’ and associates storm frequency to ‘damaging events’. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 26
  27. 27. Weather Story Theory as Fact - Economics • Media reports substitute ‘storms’ for ‘weather events’, although the IPCC reference on frequency changes relates to temperature, and the IBC presentation did not reference actual data and suggested shifts of ‘one degree’. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 27
  28. 28. Weather Story Theory as Fact - Policy • A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Canada by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce indicates “rising frequency and severity of extreme weather events in Canada, such as floods, storms and droughts” and references the Weather Story statement, substituting ‘storms’ for the Weather Story’s ‘weather events’. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 28
  29. 29. Weather Story Theory as Fact – Policy • Economists have have repeated the theory of frequency shifts as fact, e.g., “The reality is that the frequency of weather events has increased.” in the context of disaster mitigation policy. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 29
  30. 30. Weather Story Theory as Fact - Policy • Policy organizations repeat the statement from economic analysis, substituting ‘storms’ for the Weather Story’s ‘weather events’ and citing ‘research’ on storms. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 30
  31. 31. Weather Story Theory as Fact - Policy • More policy organizations repeat the statement cited from the Toronto Star, substituting ‘storms’ for the Weather Story’s ‘weather events’ , adding the statement relates to ‘extreme’ weather events, and that “Ontario is experiencing significant changes”, contrary to Environment Canada’s Ontario analysis. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 31
  32. 32. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • Media have related the Weather Story statement on ‘weather events’ to ‘heavy rainfall’ events, and have stated “severe weather is on the rise” : Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 32
  33. 33. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • The media reports that “the weather has changed” including “more torrential rain” Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 33
  34. 34. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • IBC substitutes ‘extreme weather events’ for ‘weather events’, describes trends in storm regularity, and links this to insurance premium increases. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 34
  35. 35. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • Insurance industry credits Weather Story statement to Environment Canada although statement contradicts Environment Canada data and analysis, and insurance industry substitutes ‘severe weather events’ for ‘weather events’. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 35
  36. 36. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • Insurance industry again credits Environment Canada to promote Aviva Water Protection, as “As an endorsement to existing Aviva personal property policies that qualify where sewer back-up protection is in place.” Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 36
  37. 37. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • Insurance industry repeats Weather Story statement and substitutes ‘extreme weather events’ for ‘weather events’ and adds and ‘hail’, ‘wind’, and ‘precipitation’ have also had the bell-curve shift in 40 year to 6 year frequency: Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 37
  38. 38. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • Insurance industry indicates ‘greater instances of extreme weather’ and ‘storms happening more often and lasting longer’ : Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 38
  39. 39. Weather Story Theory as Fact (Cont’d) • Insurance industry cites “days of rain” instead of data related to extreme storms , and does not consider changing criteria for days with rain: Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 39
  40. 40. Progression of “Weather Story” • Started with a theoretical discussion from IPCC on the changes in the distribution of temperature • Presented a theoretical shift in climate data using a bell curve and a one standard deviation shift in averages • Associated theoretical shift in event frequency to weather events, implying storms, happening in parts of Canada • Referenced Environment Canada data but did not use Environment Canada rain data or analysis that does not support such intensity trends • Organizations promoted theory as fact, associate weather with severe rain events, explaining increasing insurance premiums & tie to risk mitigation policy. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 40
  41. 41. Summary • A theoretical discussion from the IPCC on the changes in the distribution of temperature has been convoluted into: 1) A statement on theoretical probability shifts for a standard normal bell curve (Telling the Weather Story presentation transcript) 2) A statement on the frequency of actual weather events (once every 40 year events occurring now every 6 years) caused by climate change (Telling the Weather Story publication) • The Telling the Weather Story statement is contrary to Environment Canada rain reports, data and analysis that does not show an overall increasing rain intensity trend in Canada or Ontario. In fact, in southern Ontario, there are more statistically significant decreasing rain intensity trends than increasing ones. • Observed rainfall intensity averages (sample means) increase over time with larger samples sizes (years of record) because the underlying rain distribution is skewed (sample mean bias). • The Telling the Weather Story statement on weather events, originating from average temperature changes discussions, has been misinterpreted by many to apply to: 1) Severe Weather Events, 2) Extreme Weather Events, 3) Storms, 4) Torrential Rain, • Many organizations promote the Weather Story statement as fact, describe a this statement based on theory as ‘reality’ based on ‘research’, credit the statement to Environment Canada as the source, and use it support economic and other policies. • Due to the Weather Story statement, policies and efforts toward mitigating increasing urban flood damages may be misdirected to climate change mitigation, as opposed to more effective risk identification/management efforts, urban planning/stormwater management policies and infrastructure remediation/capital investment efforts that address the root causes of increased damages, not related to theoretical storm frequency shifts. Feb.5, 2016 Telling the Weather Story Review 41 5) Precipitation, 6) Wind, 7) Hail.

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