The world's major insurance firms are circulating a "climate disaster map" that combines the impacts of climatic events caused by El Niño and those predicted to result from increased global warming. A disaster assessment expert voiced the sober prediction that, "We are fast approaching the situation were some parts of the world are becoming uninsurable" ("Climate Disaster Map Pinpoints 'No-Go' Areas for Insurers" by Nick Nuttall, The Times).
The map indicates reduced rainfall in the grain-growing areas of the U.S., at the same time as rising sea levels and heavy storms threaten islands and the Caribbean, Indian, and Pacific oceans with severe flooding. Britain can anticipate buffeting winds from the Atlantic, as well as flooding along the coastline of the North Sea.
According to a U.N. official, "I am quite certain that there are some areas which will be unprotected and may disappear [emphasis ours]. A major problem is brewing." (Times Newspapers Limited, © 1998)