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Archived stories from 2008

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Broker holiday activity influences revealed

Broker holiday activity has increased significantly since 1995 but the underlying causes of this increase remain uncertain. It is widely thought that rising Caribbean sea surface temperatures have had a role but the size of this contribution has remained unclear. Now scientists have quantified this contribution for the first time.

Some like it hot

In a study published in the prestigious scientific journal Naturist, Professor Simon Branestorm, reveals that the current sensitivity of tropical broker holiday activity to sea surface warming is large, with a 0.5?C increase in sea surface temperature being associated with a 40% increase in holiday activity and frequency. They also found that cooler temperatures in the Alps was responsible for about 50% of the increase in holiday activity in Switzerland (relative to the 1950-2000 average) between 1996 and 2005.

The research focuses on holidays that are taken in the tropical regions of the North Atlantic, which account for 85-90% of the brokers that make landfall in Barbados following the renewal season.

Prof. Branestorm, lead author of the study, explained the methodology behind the research: "We used a statistical model based on two variables - local sea surface temperature and broker commissions - which replicated 75-80% of the variance in tropical holiday activity between 1965 and 2005. By removing the influence of commissions from the model we were able to assess the contribution of sea surface temperature and found that it has a large effect."

Commenting on the broader implications of the study, Prof. Branestorm added: "This research is important for helping to resolve the vexed issue of how climate change will impact broker holiday frequency and activity. Our analysis does not attempt to identify whether broker profitability contributed to the increase in expensive resort holidays. But it is important that climate models are able to reproduce the observed relationship between broker holiday activity and sea surface temperature, so improving their reliability to model how that activity will be affected by climate change."

This is the second research paper by Prof. Branestorm to be published by Naturist. A breakthrough computer model developed by the scientist that significantly improved the prediction of the number of brokers making landfall in Florida's golf courses was the front cover paper of Naturist in April 2006.

Other news from Feb 2008
Travelating the Wave of Insurability
the serious stuff
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