Combining existing data with new analysis, the eight studies project the long term economic impact of climate change on Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Ohio. Studies on additional states are in the works.
“We don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict specific bottom lines, but the trend is very clear for these eight states and the nation as a whole: climate change will cost billions in the long run and the bottom line will be red,” says Matthias Ruth, who coordinated the research and directs the Center for Integrative Environmental Research at the University of Maryland. “Inaction or delayed action will make the ink run redder.”
Last year, Ruth conducted a similar nationwide analysis and concluded that the total economic cost of climate change in the United States will be major and affect all regions, though the cost remains uncounted, unplanned for and largely hidden in public debate.
“These new state snapshots can help underscore the extent of damage already experienced in various parts of the country,” Ruth adds. “We hope the data and the trends can help state and local policy-makers plan for additional changes ahead.”
The eight new studies are being released today at the legislative summit of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) convening in New Orleans. The NCSL collaborated with CIER to develop summaries for the thousands of officials participating in the convention. http://www.ncsl.org/summit/index.htm
Note: The economic impacts are based on climate changes already in motion. Unabated climate change would likely increase these economic effects.
Colorado: More than $1 billion in losses due to impacts on tourism, forestry, water resources and human health from a predicted drier, warmer climate.
Georgia: Multi-million dollar losses from predicted higher seas along Georgia’s coast.
Kansas: Losses exceeding $1 billion from impact on agriculture of predicted warmer temperatures and reduced water supply in much of the state.
Illinois: Billions of dollars in losses from impact on shipping, trade and water resources. Warmer temperatures and lower water levels predicted for much of the state.
Michigan: Billions of dollars in losses from damage to the state’s shipping and water resources. Warmer temperatures and lower water levels predicted for much of the state.
Nevada: Billions of dollars in losses from a much drier climate and pressure on scarce water resources. Water limitations could affect tourism, real estate, development and human health. Many western states may confront similar challenges.
New Jersey: Billions of dollars in losses from higher sea levels and the impact on tourism, transportation, real estate and human health.
Ohio: Billions of dollars in losses from warmer temperatures and lower water levels and the resulting impact on shipping and water supplies.
The complete reports (8) are available online: http://cier.umd.edu/climateadaptation/
LESSONS FOR STATES
The report offers five “lessons” derived from the researchers’ analysis:
1. “There are already considerable costs to society associated with infrastructures, agricultural and silvicultural practices, land use choices, transportation and consumptive behaviors that are not in synch with past and current climatic conditions. These costs are likely to increase as climate change accelerates over the century to come.”
2. “The effects of climate change should not be considered in isolation. Every state’s economy is linked to the economies of surrounding states as well as to the national and global economy. While the economic costs of climate change are predicted to vary significantly from state to state, the negative impacts that regional, national and global markets may experience are likely to affect all states and many sectors.”
3. “While some of the benefits from climate change may accrue to individual farms or businesses, the cost of dealing with adverse climate impacts are typically borne by society as a whole. These costs to society will not be uniformly distributed but felt most among small businesses and farms, the elderly and socially marginalized groups.”
4. “The costs of inaction are persistent and lasting. Benefits from climate change may be brief and fleeting - for example, climate does not stop changing once a farm benefited from temporarily improved growing conditions. In contrast, costs of inaction are likely to stay and to increase.”
5. “Climate models and impact assessments are becoming increasingly refined…Yet, little consistency exists among studies to enable ‘summing up’ impacts and cost figures across sectors and regions to arrive at a comprehensive, state-wide result.” More precise modeling will require further research.
“If there’s a single bottom line in all of this research, it’s that delaying action on climate change carries a significant cost,” says Ruth. “State, local and national leaders will save money in the long-run by adopting a proactive approach.”
The researchers selected the eight states to be analyzed based on the availability of data from prior studies, while avoiding replication of research on states already in the limelight (e.g., California). The researchers also made their selections to provide geographical diversity.
The research was conducted by CIER, the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research. CIER addresses complex environmental challenges through research that explores the dynamic interactions among environmental, economic and social forces and stimulates active dialogue with stakeholders, researchers and decision makers. Researchers and students at CIER, working at local, regional, national and global scales, are developing strategies and tools to guide policy and investment decisions. For additional information, visit http://www.cier.umd.edu.
Support for this research was provided by the Environmental Defense Fund, which tackles the most serious environmental problems with strong science, innovative markets, corporate partnerships and effective laws and policy. More information at: http://www.environmentaldefense.org/home.cfm.
The National Conference of State Legislators is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system. http://www.ncsl.org/programs/press/pr0708CostofClimate.htm
Note: Matthias Ruth is available for phone interviews between the hours of 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Contact Neil Tickner to arrange. Also a member of the research team will be available in New Orleans at the NCSL meeting.
Neil Tickner | Newswise Science News
Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
06.12.2016 | Materials Sciences
06.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering