Climate Change Science Explained: Facts, Evidence and Evidence


Cost estimates vary widely. A last study It found that warming to 2 degrees Celsius would require a total investment of between $4 trillion and $60 trillion, with a median estimate of $16 trillion, while keeping warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius could cost between $10 trillion and $100 trillion. 30 trillion dollars. (For reference, the entire world economy was about $88 trillion in 2019.) Other research has found that reaching net zero will require less than annual investments. 1.5 percent global gross domestic product 4 percent. That’s a lot, but in the range historical energy investments in countries like the USA

Let’s consider the costs of uncontrolled climate change, which will most likely fall on the most vulnerable. These include damage to property and infrastructure due to sea level rise and extreme weather conditions, death and disease from natural disasters, pollution and infectious diseases, reduced agricultural yields and labor productivity losses due to rising temperatures, decreased water availability and increased energy costs and species extinction. and habitat destruction. UC Berkeley economist Dr. Hsiang describes it as “death by a thousand cuts.”

As a result, climate damage is difficult to measure. Moody’s Analytics He estimates that even 2 degrees Celsius of warming will cost the world $69 trillion by 2100, and economists expect the toll to continue to rise with temperature. In a new survey, economists had estimated that the cost would equal 5 percent of global GDP at 3 degrees Celsius of warming (our trajectory according to current policies) and 10 percent for 5 degrees Celsius. Other research shows that if current warming trends continue, global GDP per capita will decline among the following. 7 percent and 23 percent by the end of the century – an equivalent economic blow multiple coronavirus pandemic every year. And some are afraid of them great contempt.

Already, research on climate change curtailed revenues reduced by up to 30 percent in the poorest countries and global agricultural productivity It has increased 21 percent since 1961. Extreme weather events have also put a big toll on the bill. Climate-related disasters such as hurricanes, droughts and wildfires in the United States alone in 2020 about 100 billion dollars In damages to businesses, property and infrastructure compared to an annual average of $18 billion in the 1980s.

Given the high cost of inaction, many economists say addressing climate change is crucial. a better deal. It’s like the old saying: An gram of prevention is worth a kilo of cure. In this case, limiting warming would greatly reduce the future damage and inequality caused by climate change. It will also generate so-called co-benefits such as: saving a million lives every year by reducing air pollution and eating millions of healthier, climate-friendly diets. Some studies even suggest that achieving the Paris Agreement goals create job and increase global GDP. And, of course, reining in climate change will save many species and ecosystems on which humans depend, and which many believe have their innate values.

The challenge is that we must reduce emissions now to avoid subsequent losses, which will require large investments over the next few decades. And the longer we delay, the more we will pay for reaching the Paris destinations. A final analysis He discovered that if we waited until 2030 instead of acting now, it would cost the United States almost twice as much to reach net zero by 2050. But even if we miss the Paris goal, the economy still provides a strong rationale for climate action, because every additional degree of warming cost us more – in dollars and lives.

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veronica penney contributing reporting.

illustrations by Esther Horvath, Max Whittaker, David Maurice Smith and Talia Herman for The New York Times; Esther Horvath/Alfred-Wegener-Institut


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