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München, Germany

Kron W.,Munich Reinsurance Company
Natural Hazards | Year: 2013

No other region is more threatened by natural perils than coasts. Fierce winds, storm surges, large waves and tsunamis expend their destructive energy when they reach the coastline. Constituting, in many cases, the boundary between continental plates, coasts experience earthquakes and volcanic eruptions more frequently. The changing climate poses the threat of sea level rise. Most global trade crosses the oceans; ports are the entry and exit points of a nation's trade. As a consequence, coasts attract people, businesses and industries. Some coastal regions rank among the top places in the world in terms of population and value accumulation. Enormous catastrophe loss potentials have been created and are increasing. Risk is the result of a natural hazard, the values at risk and their vulnerability. Living with and reducing the risk requires awareness at all levels of society and partnership between the public authorities, the people and enterprises concerned, and the financial sector. Great natural events are not avoidable, great disasters are. Catastrophes are not only products of chance but also the outcome of the interaction between political, financial, social, technical and natural circumstances. Effective safeguards are both achievable and indispensable, but they will never provide complete protection. In order to manage the risks faced by a society, we have to be aware of that. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Kron W.,Munich Reinsurance Company
Water Policy | Year: 2015

Various disasters in recent decades have confirmed that the risk from water-related events has been increasing significantly worldwide. Among those events are tsunamis, storm surges, river floods, flash floods, mass movements and droughts. The driving factors of this risk are the unabated increase in global population, the concentration of people in high-risk areas such as coasts, flood plains and hillsides, the rise in vulnerability of assets, infrastructure and social systems, and the consequences of environmental and climatic changes. Risk reduction requires general awareness at all levels of society and a partnership between the public sector, the people concerned and the insurance industry. Structural and nonstructural precautionary measures are always cheaper in the long run than paying losses. Overall economic consequences are significantly less severe in societies with a high insurance penetration. © IWA Publishing 2015.

Jongman B.,VU University Amsterdam | Winsemius H.C.,Deltares | Aerts J.C.J.H.,VU University Amsterdam | Coughlan De Perez E.,VU University Amsterdam | And 6 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

The global impacts of river floods are substantial and rising. Effective adaptation to the increasing risks requires an in-depth understanding of the physical and socioeconomic drivers of risk. Whereas the modeling of flood hazard and exposure has improved greatly, compelling evidence on spatiotemporal patterns in vulnerability of societies around the world is still lacking. Due to this knowledge gap, the effects of vulnerability on global flood risk are not fully understood, and future projections of fatalities and losses available today are based on simplistic assumptions or do not include vulnerability. We show for the first time (to our knowledge) that trends and fluctuations in vulnerability to river floods around the world can be estimated by dynamic high-resolution modeling of flood hazard and exposure. We find that rising per-capita income coincided with a global decline in vulnerability between 1980 and 2010, which is reflected in decreasing mortality and losses as a share of the people and gross domestic product exposed to inundation. The results also demonstrate that vulnerability levels in low- and high-income countries have been converging, due to a relatively strong trend of vulnerability reduction in developing countries. Finally, we present projections of flood losses and fatalities under 100 individual scenario and model combinations, and three possible global vulnerability scenarios. The projections emphasize that materialized flood risk largely results from human behavior and that future risk increases can be largely contained using effective disaster risk reduction strategies. © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Schmidt S.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Kemfert C.,German Institute for Economic Research | Hoppe P.,Munich Reinsurance Company
Regional Environmental Change | Year: 2010

Tropical cyclones that make landfall on the coast of the USA are causing increasing economic losses. It is assumed that the increase in losses is largely due to socio-economic developments, i.e. growing wealth and greater settlement of exposed areas. However, it is also thought that the rise in losses is caused by increasing frequency of severe cyclones resulting from climate change, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. The object of this paper is to investigate how sensitive the losses are to socio-economic changes and climate changes and how these factors have evolved over the last 50 years. We will then draw conclusions about the part the factors concerned play in the observed increase in losses. For analysis purposes, storm loss is depicted as a function of the value of material assets affected by the storm (the capital stock) and storm intensity. The findings show the increase in losses due to socio-economic changes to have been approximately three times greater than that due to climate-induced changes. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

Grune L.,University of Bayreuth | Pannek J.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Seehafer M.,Munich Reinsurance Company | Worthmann K.,University of Bayreuth
Proceedings of the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control | Year: 2012

For nonlinear discrete time systems satisfying a controllability condition, we present a stability condition for model predictive control without stabilizing terminal constraints or costs. The condition is given in terms of an analytical formula which can be employed in order to determine a prediction horizon length for which asymptotic stability or a performance guarantee is ensured. Based on this formula a sensitivity analysis with respect to the prediction and the possibly time varying control horizon is carried out. © 2012 IEEE.

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