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THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE
The great significance of figuring out how rising temperatures will affect people and places around the world!!!
7/24/2019 12:43:25 AM
Dr. Pragya Khanna

It is often rightly said that those who refuse to take climate change seriously are subjecting the world to huge economic risks and foregoing the profuse benefits that solutions would bring. That means the decisions we're making today to carry on along a path that's almost completely carbon-dependent, are locking us in for long-term consequences that we will not be able to change but only adapt to, at enormous cost.
Global Warming is one of the most talked about issues in the whole world. Some people say it is more serious than war or any other thing. This is because many scientists say that the world will die unless something is done. Then there are other people who say Global warming is phony and must not be feared as it has its own positive attributes.
Global Warming is rising temperatures on Earth's surface. For everything you buy or do someone must have polluted the environment in order to make it. The Greenhouse effect is one of the major causes of Global Warming. Greenhouse gases naturally cover the Earth and keep it about 33 degrees Celsius warmer than it would be without those gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse effect is heating of the Earth due to pressure of greenhouse gases. The gases that make up this are Fluorocarbons 5%, Methane 13%, Nitrous Oxide 6%, and Carbon Dioxide 76%.
A new study published in 'Nature' by scientists at Stanford and UC Berkeley has made waves for its finding that thus far we have dramatically underestimated the damage human-caused climate change will do to the global economy and warns that global warming will curb economic growth even in most wealthy countries. By comparing data from 160 countries across the 50-year period from 1960 to 2010, the authors found that an average local temperature of 13°C (55°F) is economically optimal, particularly for agricultural productivity. That temperature roughly reflects the current climate in many wealthy countries like the USA, Japan, France, and China. Therefore, the anticipated spike in temperatures will not affect the world evenly, according to the study. Productivity peaks when temperatures in a given region average 55ºF (13ºC), meaning warming may actually increase productivity in cold northern countries while devastating the tropics. That means climate change could also worsen global inequality, northern countries are in general already better off than tropical ones.
Global warming will concern everyone and everything on the planet in one way or another. Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century and its projected persistence. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2007), global surface temperature increased considerably more than usual during the 20th century. Most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases, which result from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuel and deforestation. "Between 1956-2005, the average earth's temperature rose 0.13°C per decade. This may not seem like much, but it was double the rate for the 100 years from 1906 to 2005. Temperatures in colder areas, like the Arctic, rose twice as fast as the average" (IPCC 2007). Although global warming is affecting the number and magnitude of these events, it is difficult to connect specific events to global warming. Economic forecasts of the influence of climate change on human activity also differ considerably. Some predict that people will benefit, from any such change while others view the possibility with great alarm. Former Vice President Gore imagines the direst of consequences. Throughout his movie "an inconvenient truth", Gore discusses the scientific opinion on climate change, as well as the present and future effects of global warming and stresses that climate change "is really not a political issue, so much as a moral one". Gore goes on to say "Each one of us is a cause of global warming, but each one of us can make choices to change that with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive; we can make choices to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero. The solutions are in our hands, we just have to have the determination to make it happen. We have everything that we need to reduce carbon emissions, everything but political will".
The effects of climate change will affect every aspect of the economy most remarkably agriculture, energy, and transportation will take huge hits from greenhouse gases. Few people debate that there are many benefits of global warming. Global warming could lengthen growing seasons, make the earth more liveable, and slow down any future ice age. Many researchers have studied and documented the optimistic side of a warming world climate trend. Thomas Gale Moore, an economist at Stanford University's is the author of "Climate of fear: Why We Shouldn't Worry about Global Warming", a book that describes the many ways that warmer weather helps human beings in all areas of life. And Moore is not alone in taking this view. Many researchers have discovered the gains that human society makes in warmer weather by studying its impact in various areas such as health, the economy, and agriculture. A warmer world would directly impact agricultural productivity, according to Moore. "Warmer weather means a longer growing season, and thus greater output. It would also result in greater rainfall, providing much-needed water for plants. The risk of crop failures would decrease with shorter, milder winters" (Moore, 1998). For example, Mid-Atlantic States agricultural yields are likely to benefit from slightly higher temperatures. (Ruth, 2006) This will provide farmers a season with warmer weather, therefore giving them extended periods to grow and sell their crops.
Warming climates are advantageous to other forms of human life as well. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), a study prepared by the Arctic Council, found that a warmer Arctic would have more available resources. The ACIA has also found that reduced ice caps would open up sea routes through the arctic. Currently, many freighters must take the Panama Canal to reach the other side of North America. (The ones that cannot fit in the canal must go around South America!) A shorter route through the Arctic would cause shipping costs to drop drastically, benefiting a number of industries that depend on carrying goods between Continents. A warming trend brings many benefits to economic activity, since so many people around the world are dependent on oil, fish, transportation, and shipping.
Also, in colder countries the amount of energy consumption would definitely be lowered. Yes, it may seem as if 2 degrees change in 50 years is a very small statistic but it can make a huge difference. Countries further away from the equator would be the main beneficiaries from the rise in temperatures. A couple of days or weeks of warmer weather can save a country millions or billions of dollars alone on energy cost. Despite all the positives, the basic elements needed to sustain life will be in higher demand as the population grows and sea levels rise. There could be a land shortage, food and water may be rationed. Global warming and its effect on the economy could affect life on earth as we know it today. In some cases global warming is projected to boost the growth agricultural production while in other cases it leads to desertification. Often, this is compounded by water shortage in those particular areas, which brings about a decrease in food supply due to increase in food prices. The countries that are net importers of food will be affected by such a situation due to the factors that are caused by the temperature rise. Scientists warned that rising temperatures would make crops mature more quickly, reducing their yield, while extreme temperatures could also significantly reduce yields, according to the journal Environmental Research Letters (Environmental Research Letters, 2007). Global warming has also been known to cause a rise in sea levels. This is followed by severe loss of land as well as its structural damage. Fighting against rising sea levels is also not trouble-free and is a very expensive process in terms of flood defences. Most of the time, even the best flood defences have failed to put a stop to rising sea levels. Also temperature variations may also lead to an increase in infrastructural costs. An interesting example to quote would be when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the U.S. and the Caribbean in October 2012 it, according to a report, exposed millions of people and billions of dollars worth of economic assets to the sorts of hazards that might be expected to increase as a result of climate change. An estimated 1.8 million structures and homes were destroyed or damaged, with economic losses exceeding $65 billion.
Among the businesses most negatively affected by Sandy were tourism (losses of more than $1 billion and 10,000 jobs) and small- and medium-scale manufacturing and storage. Retailers, such as clothing firm Eileen Fisher, lost inventory when Sandy flooded warehouses and disrupted supply chains.
There were a few bright spots: Building-supply stores like Home Depot saw sales shoot up in locations affected by the storm. In the three months after the storm, the company attributed $242 million in sales to the event as residents and businesses pieced back together their former homes and livelihoods. Events like these show how climate change, which will result in more catastrophes, will have a huge and varied global economic impact, and that the impacts will hit locally and ripple out by affecting supply chains, consumer behaviours, regional economies, and downstream jobs. So, for most people, what matters are not the global economic impacts, but the effects on the places they live and work. Whether Global warming will have an effect on the economy in a positive way or negative is still unknown. What is known is taking care of the planet is a basis for healthy, safe, less costly life on earth. Life on this planet will be fatally affected unless we embrace new practices, ethics, and principles to conduct our lives on a warming planet. There are many things that can affect the way the earth turns out in 20, 50, or 100 years from now. Let's all take action and be responsible for our children and their children. Earth is our home. We are part of this world and its destiny is our own.
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