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Climate Change and The World Economy

Posted Apr 20th, 2017

Climate Change and The World Economy TERESA MADALENO

Many scientists have stated that a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture and water vapour increases about 7 percent for every degree centigrade of warming. What does this mean exactly? Well, that remains to be seen, but some suggest that precipitation is likely to increase 1-2 percent per degree and that could have a detrimental impact on the world economy.

Few will deny that we have seen changing weather patterns in the last decade that have brought record rain fall to certain areas of the world. Several regions of Pakistan, Peru, New Zealand and Australia know what it is like to be hit with unusually high levels of rainfall. In the U.S many southern states, as well as New York City and parts of California have been bombarded with rainfall in recent years. Just a few years ago, Arizona – yes the dessert, saw rainfall.

If climate change continues, many scientists say the heavy rainfall will not only go on, but will worsen. While the social and health repercussions always seem to be apparent, such as injury, death, and displacement, what many people overlook; at least initially, is the economics’. Property damage costs, repair costs and reinforcement are becoming a big factor. Sure this can be beneficial to certain business sectors, but when you look at the bigger picture, it could eventually destroy the spending ability of the private sector and drive insurance prices way up, particularly in affected areas. As these weather fluctuations continue, protecting a business from unpredictable weather events will most likely become more challenging.

Too much rain damages crops and while we do have rain events from time-to-time that decimate a yield and drive prices up at the grocery store, we tend to see these as isolated incidents. Imagine if the situation became so bad that multiple crops were destroyed at the same time, thus leading to a food shortage. Some scientists believe it is a real possibility unless climate change is addressed. It is also important to understand that ecosystems change and adapt slowly so abrupt changes to a region can throw both plants and animals off course, literally. Many change their feeding and breeding patterns or simply move and die. When this happens it puts our food production at further risk.

There are many who go about their daily work and assume that climate mitigation is someone else’s job; that weather fluctuations are not their responsibility. The fallout described here just might make these individuals think again.

Assessing your carbon footprint is the first step you can take and from there, you might be surprised at how making a few changes here and there will significantly reduce your output of climate changing emissions.

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