Wednesday, July 29, 2015

New Report Reveals the Severe Economic Impacts Climate Change Will Have in the South

A cyclist and vehicles negotiate heavily flooded streets as rain falls, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Miami Beach, Fla. (Credit: Lynne Sladky) Click to Enlarge.
Climate change is set to hit the Southeast United States and Texas hard.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from the Risky Business Project, a nonprofit that focuses on the economic impacts of climate change.  The report, which focused on 12 states — 11 states in the Southeastern United States plus Texas — found that the increased heat and humidity that these states are expected to experience as the climate changes will put the region’s recent manufacturing boom at risk.

“While the Southeast and Texas are generally accustomed to heat and humidity, the scale of increased heat — along with other impacts such as sea level rise and storm surge — will likely cause significant and widespread economic harm, especially to a region so heavily invested in physical manufacturing, agriculture and energy infrastructure,” the report reads.  “If we continue on our current greenhouse gas emissions pathway, the southeastern United States and Texas will likely experience significant drops in agricultural yield and labor productivity, along with increased sea level rise, higher energy demand, and rising mortality rates.”

According to the report, by the end of this century, the Southeast and Texas could see 14 times as many days over 95°F each year.  Some regions, the report states, could see as many as 124 of these extremely hot days a year.  And changes could come sooner than the end of the century for some states:  by around 2050, Mississippi is expected to see 33 to 85 extremely hot days each year.  These temperatures will drive up electricity demand, and that increased demand could see an increase in energy costs of 4 to 12 percent by mid-century.

Read more at New Report Reveals the Severe Economic Impacts Climate Change Will Have in the South

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