Is it just me, or is it getting hotter in here? Recent scientific studies about global warming indicate that the Earth’s temperature may rise anywhere between two degrees and 11 degrees Fahrenheit. This would increase both the frequency and severity of floods and droughts. Rising sea levels would accelerate and trigger beach erosion, more powerful body surges, and ecological degradation. Oceans could warm and acidify. Heat waves could kill large numbers of people. The potential damages resulting from global warming are enormous.

Global warming is a much debated phenomenon. Some say it is a myth, while others believe it is an imminent threat to mankind. Putting aside the respective debates — to which we could not do justice here — we can explore the risk management implications of global warming. Liability exposures loom for companies and risk managers as the climate heats up. An article titled, “Global Warming Litigation Heats Up,” in the April 2008 issue of Trial magazine, points to signs of a potential tsunami.

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