Extreme heat breaking Gulf Coast oil refineries, the hottest Atlantic ocean temperatures in 120,000 years potentially supercharging Atlantic hurricanes, and the ongoing war in Ukraine are all great news for hedge funds seeking to profit off the resulting higher gasoline prices. For people and businesses, however, the record-breaking 15 billion-dollar extreme weather disasters in the U.S. during the first half of this year are a major concern, to say nothing of the at least 113 people killed by those events.
Concurrent extreme drought and heavy rain have combined to disrupt American wheat harvests — in a year of major wheat shortages caused by the Russian war in Ukraine, Kansas farmers expect their smallest harvests in more than 50 years. A survey released Tuesday by global insurance brokerage Gallagher found approximately 83% of U.S. business owners are actively, or will very likely seek additional insurance policies with 68% of business owners saying risks arising from climate change and natural disasters over the next 12 months are a major concern. (Hedge funds: Reuters; Billion-dollar disasters: The Hill, Weather Channel, KATC, Common Dreams; Farmers: New York Times $; Insurance: Reuters; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves, Sea surface temperature increase)