Climate change will cost US billions of dollars: study

July 24th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 24 (Xinhua) Climate change will carry a price tag of billions of dollars for some US states, researchers have said. Combining existing data with new analyses, researchers at the University of Maryland studied some states in the US and projected the long-term economic impact of climate change on them.

For example, the study said, Colorado would lose more than $1 billion due to the impact of a predicted drier and warmer climate on tourism, forestry, water resources and health.

Illinois will suffer billions of dollars in losses from the impact of climate change on shipping, trade and water resources. Warmer temperatures and lower water levels have been predicted for much of the state.

The researchers conclude that the costs have already begun to increase and are likely to stay.

“We don’t have a crystal ball and can’t predict specific bottom lines, but the trend is very clear. Climate change will cost billions in the long run and the bottom line will be red,” said Matthias Ruth, who coordinated the research.

“Inaction or delayed action will make the ink run redder.”

Last year, Ruth conducted a similar nationwide analysis and concluded that the total economic cost of climate change in the US will be significant and affect all regions, though the cost remains largely hidden in public debate.

“These new state snapshots can help underscore the extent of damage already experienced in various parts of the country,” he said.

“We hope the data and the trends can help state and local policy-makers plan for additional changes ahead,” the environment expert said.

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