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The Netherlands is experiencing more and more extreme weather such as flooding, drought and wildfires. Climate change is increasing the likelihood of this. This has repercussions for our health, cities, infrastructure, agriculture and nature. Researchers from Wageningen are working with governments and insurers to create a new environment in which data on the effects of extreme weather can be viewed at a glance: the Climate Impact Monitor.

Extreme weather events can have major social and economic impacts, Wageningen University & Research states in a press release. Damage caused by the storm in the Dutch town of Leersum in mid-June, for example, amounted to approximately 37 million euros. The damage caused by the floods in Limburg is also expected to run into tens of millions of euros. There is already plenty of meteorological data on weather extremes, such as how much rain has fallen at which location. Data on the consequences are not being systematically collected yet.

In one place

The Climate Impact Monitor links all this data together. This provides insight into the relationship between extreme weather and the economic and social costs of such events, namely damage to buildings and vehicles, diminished crop yields, reports of disease and fatalities.

“We are often asked whether the consequences of climate change are already visible, but at the moment we have insufficient insight into this,” says Rutger Dankers of Wageningen Environmental Research. “This inspired us to develop the Climate Impact Monitor. By systematically collecting data on extreme weather and its consequences, we can gain more insight into the impact of climate change. This can not only lead to better weather warnings, but can also contribute to climate contingency plans. For example, it helps cities to see what the effects of measures are. Insurers will be able to get a better idea of the expected costs.”

Web portal

The Climate Impact Monitor must eventually evolve into a web portal where data will be accessible to everyone. An overview of the damage data of the Dutch Association of Insurers can also be consulted there.

The Climate Impact Monitor is a collaboration between Wageningen University & Research, the Dutch Association of Insurers, Climate Adaptation Services (CAS), RIONED Foundation, STOWA and KNMI. The initiative is supported by the Dutch provinces of Gelderland, Utrecht and North Brabant.

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