Cruel Irony, More Republicans, Worse Effects of Global Warming
A tragic irony, the areas of the U.S. where there are more Republicans who deny climate change, the worse it's going to be for them.
As the United States confronts global warming in the decades ahead, not all states will suffer equally. Maine may benefit from milder winters. Florida, by contrast, could face major losses, as deadly heat waves flare up in the summer and rising sea levels eat away at valuable coastal properties.
In a new study in the journal Science, researchers analyzed the economic harm that climate change could inflict on the United States in the coming century. They found that the impacts could prove highly unequal: states in the Northeast and West would fare relatively well, while parts of the Midwest and Southeast would be especially hard hit.
In all, the researchers estimate that the nation could face damages worth 0.7 percent of gross domestic product per year by the 2080s for every 1 degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperature. But that overall number obscures wide variations: The worst-hit counties — mainly in states that already have warm climates, like Arizona or Texas — could see losses worth 10 to 20 percent of G.D.P. or more if emissions continue to rise unchecked.Moreover the poorest areas will get hit the hardest aggravating inequality.
The authors avoided delving into politics, but they warned that “climate change tends to increase pre-existing inequality.” Some of the poorest regions of the country could see the largest economic losses, particularly in the Southeast. That pattern would hold even if the world’s nations cut emissions drastically, though the overall economic losses would be considerably lower.And it could be worse
Other outside experts praised the study, but cautioned that it may have underestimated certain kinds of damages. Economic losses on the coasts could be far higher if ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland disintegrate faster than expected. And climate change could bring other calamities that are harder to tally, such as the loss of valuable ecosystems like Florida’s coral reefs, or increased flows of refugees from other countries facing their own climate challenges.