One Trillion Expected in Damage to Coasts by 2100

A recent article in Climactic Change reported an economic analysis that suggests that climate change will cost the US twice as much as previous analyses estimated – increasing the estimate from $500 million to $1 trillion. Just to reiterate, that is 1,000,000,000,000 – lots of zeros. While there are always myriad considerations when attempting to predict such outcomes, this study is likely conservative given that it doesn’t account for potential additional damages to business activity, infrastructure (roads and power grids), and natural resources and wildlife. The previous study underestimated the potential damage due to storm surges – which are estimated to increase do to climate change and rising sea levels. The good news is that if we can curb and ultimately reduce greenhouse emissions by the next century then we can save $84 to $140 billion – the bad news is that is only a small fraction of $1 trillion and reducing this further is not anticipated to be possible because emission cuts take time to have any noticeable effects on such large-scale processes.

By | 2015-01-15T15:14:19-05:00 January 15th, 2015|Categories: Beaches, Climate Change, Current Events, Global change, Policy|Comments Off on One Trillion Expected in Damage to Coasts by 2100

About the Author:

Jacob Allgeier
I am an ecologist with broad interests in how human-induced changes alter how ecosystems function and the services that they provide. A central focus of my research is understanding how changes in biodiversity affect the flow of nutrients and energy in ecosystems. Most of this research takes place in tropical coastal ecosystems such as mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. I am an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.