Climate Crisis Could Trim 10.5 Percent of GDP in 80 Years, Says New Study
The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.
Now, a new report, warns that the climate crisis will trigger massive global economic losses if greenhouse gas emissions are not drastically curtailed within the next few decades, as the Washington Post reported.
The working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that no country in the world will be spared from the effects of the climate crisis and not a single country will see an economic benefit from it.
The study looked at 174 countries over 54 years and found that economic output is negatively effective by persistent changes. If global warming goes unchecked, the constant changes will reduce the world's gross domestic product (GDP) 7.2 percent by the year 2100. However, if the world were to adhere to the Paris climate agreement and keep temperatures from rising too much, the economic loss would be down to 1.07 percent by 2100.
The worst-off nations will be tropical countries short on economic and medical resources.
Industrialized nations will be hit hard if temperatures continue to rise at their current rate and are four degrees Celsius higher than preindustrial times by 2100, as they are predicted to be, the U.S. will lose 10.5 percent of its GDP.
"What our study suggests is that climate change is costly for all countries under the business as usual scenario (no matter whether they are hot or cold, rich or poor), and the United States will be one of the countries that will suffer the most (reflecting sharp increases in U.S. average temperatures by 2100)," said study co-author Kamiar Mohaddes, an economist at the University of Cambridge in the UK, via email to the Washington Post.
Thanks @business for covering our new @nberpubs paper with @mattkahn1966 @JHU_Cities, Ryan Ng @GirtonCollege, M Has… https://t.co/dgInVojRxD— Kamiar Mohaddes (@Kamiar Mohaddes)1566229107.0
While Republicans have said the U.S. can innovate and manage its way around the climate crisis, the researchers were not convinced. They did not see any historical precedent that suggests a speedy adaptation will mitigate economic losses."
Overall, while climate change adaptation could reduce these negative long-run growth effects, it is highly unlikely to offset them entirely," the report said, which Politico reported. "The evidence appears to suggest that (at least for now) adaptation has had limited impact in dampening the negative effects of climate change in the United States."
Japan, India and New Zealand will lose 10 per cent of their income, the researchers said. And Canada would lose over 13 per cent of its income by 2100, as LiveMint reported.
"Canada is warming up twice as fast as rest of the world. There are risks to its physical infrastructure, coastal and northern communities, human health and wellness, ecosystems and fisheries -- all of which has a cost," said Mohaddes, as LiveMint reported.
"The UK recently had its hottest day on record. Train tracks buckled, roads melted, and thousands were stranded because it was out of the norm. Such events take an economic toll, and will only become more frequent and severe without policies to address the threats of climate change."
I wonder whether President #Trump has any comments on this #FoxNews article on how #ClimateChange will shrink 'virt… https://t.co/VSNBcZ6PcF— Kamiar Mohaddes (@Kamiar Mohaddes)1566271642.0
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>
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