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Climate Change could Upstyle in new Great Recession

Posted by Green Builder Staff

Aug 29, 2017 8:44:40 AM

UCB study predicts that poorer parts of the U.S. will feel it worst, but everyone will suffer.

CLIMATE CHANGE MAY WORSEN existing financial inequalities in the U.S. and create an economic loss equal to the Great Recession by 2100, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.. Projections also show the brunt of the impact will be felt by the poorest parts of the country, primarily the South, which could lose 20 percent of its income from rising greenhouse gas emissions.

 Climate Change heatwave chart.jpg

Climate change will cost the nation millions and severely threaten local economies, especially in the South.

Every 1 °C degree of temperature gain could cost the nation about 1.2 percent of its Gross Domestic Product, with the loss increasing as the heat level rises, the study notes. Much of the decreased GDP will come from damage by storms and heat waves, and failing crops.

That’s bad news for regions that are already economically challenged, according to UCB climate researcher and study co-author Soloman Hsiang. The warmest parts of the U.S. are also some of the poorest, he notes. “If we continue on the current path, our analysis indicates it may result in the largest transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich in the country’s history,” Hsiang says.

Regions that are projected in other studies to actually benefit from global warming—at least in the short term—will also suffer, but to a lesser extent, according to this report. Much of the northernmost U.S. will initially experience a GDP gain, but begin to see a drop-off as their customer bases decrease.

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