The factors driving the drought conditions that cause crops—and insurer profits—to wither are the subject of heated debate these days. For years, the P&C industry and scientific community have discussed the possibility of global warming as a major culprit behind severe weather events, and by extension, significant catastrophe losses. Well, new findings from government scientists and a Nobel laureate known for his environmental advocacy are strengthening that connection.

In a July, 2012 report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), scientists concluded that “recent extreme weather events are likely connected to man-made climate change.” Based on 50 years of weather data, the analysis specifically linked last year’s southwestern drought to temperature fluctuations.

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