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Climate Change Could Cost Trillions of Dollars in Economic Damages

Climate Change Could Cost Trillions of Dollars in Economic Damages

The world could face trillions of extra economic damages according to a new study.

The study, led by Georgetown University and published in Nature Communications, shows that current economic forecasting models fail to account for the “irreducible uncertainty” associated with known levels of rising temperatures.

“When we cause a system like the Earth’s climate to warm, it does not warm smoothly and uniformly. Changes in the Earth’s temperature translate into economic damages and our work estimates the additional economic damage that we can expect due to these fluctuations in earth’s global mean temperature on top of the smooth gradual increase due to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere,” said co-author Professor Sandra Chapman from the University of Warwick Department of Physics.

Even small fluctuations could create trillions of dollars of additional economic damages, the study finds.

“Our study identifies a new category of economic costs—those arising from the unpredictable, but unavoidable fluctuations in global climate that we’re bound to face,” said Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy Professor Raphael Calel, an economist and co-author of the study. “To prevent these losses, we need a more diverse set of policy responses with increased investment in adaptation and resilience.”
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