24 Nov 2020
Understanding the Science of Climate Change
The debate on climate change has rapidly evolved in recent years. It is no longer on whether the evidence of human impact on climate change is real, but on whether key mitigating strategies being adopted are sufficient. While actuaries are already developing models to quantify the impact of climate change on insurance businesses, it is becoming increasingly evident that the actuarial community’s understanding of climate risk is not yet as developed as its expertise on traditional insurance risks such as mortality risk. This talk is aimed at curious participants interested in learning about the science of climate change. No prior knowledge of climate change science or models is a pre-requisite for this online session.
To understand climate change, it is important to start with the basics i.e. build an understanding of greenhouse gas physics and the structure of Earth’s atmosphere. It is also important to understand how energy flows in the oceans and our atmosphere and how feedback loops can exacerbate the changes in temperatures from greenhouse gas emissions.
Furthermore, to develop an understanding of the human impact on climate it is important to look at temperature data from the various types of available temperature records including sea surface, land surface and satellite based records. An analysis of this data and additional data available on glacier lengths, solar radiation intensity can be put together to develop our understanding of the subject. Highlighting the potential impacts of the ‘business as usual’ CO2 emissions, looking at various other CO2 emissions scenarios allows us to make sense of the Paris Climate Accord and the following developments.
By doing all of this, this course will provide its participants with basic scientific tools and knowledge required to understand the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on Earth’s climate and develop models to mitigate the economic risks of climate change.
Organised by the EAA - European Actuarial Academy GmbH.
The web session is open to all interested persons.
Technical requirementsPlease check with your IT department if your firewall and computer settings support online participation (the programme GotoTraining/GotoWebinar is used for the web session). Please also make sure that you are joining the web session with a stable internet connection.
Purpose and Nature
The objective of this course is to explore the science of global warming and climate change. While the actuarial community works on developing new ways to measure the economic impact of the risk posed by global warming, it is exceedingly important for actuaries to gain an understanding of the underlying science of climate change. For this purpose, the course will explore key aspects of the dynamics of climate systems and the impacts of human induced climate change.
Given the vastness of the subject, this course will be presented in two parts. This is the first of two parts and includes:
- Building a simple climate model- Greenhouse effect- Structure of the atmosphere- Weather and heat transmission- Feedback loops
In addition to the above, the first session will also focus on the human impact on climate by looking at land, sea and satellite based temperature records and glacier lengths. This data will be used to forecast Earth’s temperature under various CO2 emission scenarios.
Lastly, there will be a group discussion on some of the mitigating strategies and the important role actuaries can play.
The second session will be offered in the first quarter of 2021 and will cover some more advanced topics on the physical processes in climate systems and include a discussion on building climate models.
Abdal Chaudhryis a consultant at Milliman with over 10 years of experience working in the life insurance industry in the United Kingdom. Abdal specializes in Solvency II reporting, risk calibrations, proxy modelling and capital management and has delivered a number of projects in these areas for large UK based life insurance companies. Prior to his role at Milliman, Abdal has worked on the applications of Machine Learning techniques for the optimization of the Solvency II Internal Model SCR calculations.
Michael Leitschkisis a Principal with Milliman with over 15 years of experience working in the life insurance industry, notably in Germany and the United Kingdom. Michael specializes in risk modelling, e.g. in the context of Solvency II Internal Models, and actuarial systems transformation. Michael is a frequent speaker at various EAA seminars and web sessions. In particular, he has been teaching risk modelling as part of the EAA’s CERA working party since 2011.