The effects of climate change are now becoming more evident and harder to ignore. If something good can be said of all that, perhaps it might make you respect the Earth more in lieu of what is at stake. The drought conditions of the summer of 2012 are proof enough of the far-reaching effects and their economic impacts.
Calculating the Cost of Climate Change
A study by the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico puts some numbers behind the consequences of climate change. Using local-scale precipitation data, researchers estimated the costs of water availability as it is affected by climate change.
Water availability has surged as a major concern not just from an agricultural point-of-view, but also that of industry. The California hydropower industry, for example, may face the effects firsthand with a drop in water availability for powering hydropower plants.
The data by the Sandia National Laboratories study point to a reduction in the United States GDP of $1 trillion between 2010 and 2050. This drop can have further implications, with a loss of seven million jobs.
The researchers stressed that the effects are not limited to agriculture, with industries that are dependent upon water also feeling the impacts. In addition, the data shows that how climate change plays out will vary geographically. This effect sets the stage for conflicts over water rights and political ramifications.
The significance of this study is that it brings climate change home. If one thought that he wouldn’t be affected, the effects on jobs, the economy and water availability drive home the fact that action on climate change is a disastrous course.
While the data is sobering, a 2008 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council painted an even dire picture. Researchers estimated an economic cost of climate change at $500 billion each year by 2050. By 2100, the projected figure was $1.9 trillion annually.
Respecting the Earth
The potential consequences of climate change illustrate an important fact. The natural cycles of the planet will continue despite efforts to change them. In other words, the Earth and all life on the planet will attempt to adapt to the changing conditions.
Whether or not man survives the turmoil is inconsequential to the cycle of life. Only through action will humankind find a way to adapt as well.