Scripps oceanography, insurer to calculate costs of climate change

San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography is pairing with one of the world’s largest insurers to pin down the costs of global climate change, it was reported Tuesday.

The partnership between Scripps and the Willis Group of London will involve Scripps researchers collecting data on the effect of changes in the weather and sea level so it can be used by Willis to assess its exposure to financial risks from weather-related catastrophes, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Monetary details of the arrangement were not disclosed, but Scripps Director Tony Haymet told the Union-Tribune such partnerships help the institute make up for state funding cuts.

A policy statement released last month by the Insurance Information Network for California listed the growing expenses related to hurricanes as one reason insurers are so concerned by climate change.

The report noted that seven of the 10 most expensive hurricanes in history occurred between 2004 and 2005, topped by Hurricane Katrina, which cost most than $41 billion, the Union-Tribune reported.

“This is a huge issue for us,” network spokesman Peter Moraga told the

newspaper. “Scientists have linked climate chance to hurricanes and tornadoes in the United States, tsunamis and typhoons in the Pacific and even the spread of wildfires in California and the Western states. Since risk is the driving factor for how we price policies, measuring those risks is crucial.”