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Posted Wed Aug 10 2011: from Lloyd:
Climate change leads to rising subsidence risks in Europe
News reports on climate change have focused on dire predictions of more hurricanes and increasing flooding due to rising sea levels. But subsidence caused by drought, which has already become a major problem across Europe, will also become much worse due to global warming.... Subsidence is one of the costliest but least known property risks. Unlike a roaring storm, the damage wreaked by subsidence takes years rather than hours, but it can be serious.... A prolonged heatwave may bake the ground, creating fissures that can tear apart the foundations of houses, bridges and factories. In some parts of Europe, subsidence claims are now the costliest natural hazard, comparable to serious flooding, says Swiss Re in its report "The hidden risks of climate change: An increase in property damage from drought and soil subsidence in Europe". In France, subsidence-related claims have risen by more than 50 percent in the past 20 years, costing the affected regions 340 million euros every year on average.
[Read more stories about: drought, permafrost meltdown, unintended consequences]

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