Climate change could cost U.S. economy billions annually - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial  -  November 26, 2018

Climate change could cost U.S. economy billions annually

Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century.

This warning is part of the National Climate Assessment, released on Nov. 23. “Annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century — more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” the report says, according to the Associated Press. Costs will be particularly high on the nation’s coasts because of rising seas and severe storm surges, which will lower property values. In some areas, such as parts of Alaska and Louisiana, coastal flooding will likely force people to relocate.

“We are seeing the things we said would be happening, happen now in real life,” said another co-author Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University. “As a climate scientist, it is almost surreal.”

Citing numerous studies, the report says more than 90 percent of the current warming is caused by humans. Without greenhouse gases, natural forces — such as changes in energy from the sun — would be slightly cooling Earth.

The report, mandated by law, summarizes the impacts of climate change on the U.S., now and in the future. A team of more than 300 experts guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.

Despite this pedigree, the report was released the day after Thanksgiving, Releasing the report on Black Friday  “is a transparent attempt by the Trump Administration to bury this report and continue the campaign of not only denying but suppressing the best of climate science,” said study co-author Andrew Light, an international policy expert at the World Resources Institute, in the AP report.

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