New heat records are increasing subsidence around the world.

With global temperature records getting smashed every year around the world (thanks climate change), the amount of subsidence occurring is also on the rise.

LV=General Insurance (LV=GI) – one of the UK’s largest home insurers – has warned about the impact of record temperatures, saying the climate crisis has already contributed to a rise in fire and subsidence cases this year.

The insurance firm said it has been dealing with claims worth £1.2m after the extreme heat that hit the UK between 17 and 20 July. With soil already dry and the prospect of further hosepipe bans coming into effect soon, the insurer said they expect to see a rise in subsidence cases, which is when the ground beneath a building sinks and pulls the foundations down with it. Not an easy issue to fix!

The evidence for an increase in subsidence is strong, with LV=GI pointing to data showing there has been a 205 percent increase in subsidence cases between June and July in 2022, and that extreme heat in August/September could result in a similar spike in claims to 2018, when they rose 51 percent due to exceptionally hot weather.

Its analysis also showed that rainfall across southern and central England was already lower than in 2018, raising the prospect of homes sinking because of unstable soil.

LV=GI has suggested that developers and city planners should carefully consider where new housing is built, to help prevent subsidence from occurring in the future.

This problem isn’t just present in the UK. Subsidence is a global problem that will only get worse as periods of dry weather and increased temperatures become more frequent and last longer. The recent subsidence happening in the Central Valley of California because of the local drought is just another example of how severe climate change is leading to an increase in this geological issue.

What do you think, how can we prevent subsidence from happening in warming climates?

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