24 may 2008

Global Warming Sticker Shock

WASHINGTON, DC, May 23, 2008 (ENS) - If global warming continues unchecked, by 2100, New York City will feel like Las Vegas does today and San Francisco will have a climate comparable to that of today's New Orleans. In 2100, Boston will have average temperatures like those in Memphis, Tennessee today.

These higher temperatures will be uncomfortable financially as well as physically, according to a report released Thursday by researchers at Tufts University, commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council, NRDC.

Over the next 100 years, global warming will increase the average temperature across most of the United States by 13 degrees Fahrenheit and by 18 degrees in Alaska, the report estimates.

"Some important impacts are priceless, so the real situation is worse than the numbers can convey," said the report's lead author, Frank Ackerman. "But the numbers, for those impacts we can put prices on, are bad enough. Climate change is on a collision course with the U.S. economy, long before the end of the century, unless we act now."

The Tufts researchers present two ways of estimating the costs of inaction on climate change.

A comprehensive estimate based on state-of-the-art computer modeling finds that doing nothing on global warming will cost the United States economy more than 3.6 percent of Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, by 2100. That amounts to $3.8 trillion annually in today's dollars.

On the other hand, a detailed, bottom-up analysis finds that four categories of global warming impacts - hurricane damage, real estate losses, increased energy costs and water costs - will add up to a price tag of 1.8 percent of GDP by 2100. That's almost $1.9 trillion annually in today's dollars.

Dan Lashof, director of NRDC's Climate Center, said, "The longer we wait, the more painful and expensive the consequences will be. This report's findings are undeniable - we must act now."...

full article:
Report, The Cost of Climate Change, by Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth Stanton:

>>> Back to list