Tag Archives: global warming

Global Warming is Fighting Back

Yesterday, the UN released a report on global warming that said that the world is not prepared for the extreme weather and other challenges.  The report says there is high risk level for diseases in Africa, increased wildfires in North America, and decreased food production and starvation in South America.  The effects of global warming on the economy is believed to be significant.  A rise of 2.5 degrees could lead to a lose of .2%-2.5% of income for the global economy.  The reports states that developed countries need $70-$100 billion a year to fund the methods required to offset the impact of climate change.  The future isn’t the only thing that is worrying scientists.  This past winter has been one of the coldest ones on record in the US.  This has not only effected agriculture but also the energy industry.  The average temperature for the winter was 6 degrees colder than normal.  The chilling effects of the weather saw natural gas prices skyrocket and natural gas supplies fall to lows not seen since 2001.  In order for natural gas supplies to regain the necessary amount before next winter, producers are going to have to increase extraction of natural gas.  This is going to cause the producers higher costs because it will cost more to extract more natural gas and the price of natural gas is going to fall as less of it is used during the spring and supplies increase.

Unfortunately for natural gas producers, the costs mentioned above aren’t the only ones caused by global warming.  Global warming has impacted many of the materials used in fracking, making it more expense to extract and more difficult to extract larger quantities.  One of the key components to fracking is a certain type of white sand located in Wisconsin.  The sand is used to open the cracks to allow oil and gas to flow up to the surface.  The recent winter freeze though has made it extremely difficult to extract and transport.  One of the major issues is that both sand and cement producers use the same freight system and because both of these industries are booming right now, there aren’t enough freights to ship the necessary amount of  sand.  This has led to costs to transport sands to be predicted to be 12% higher.  The average price of sand drilling is expected to rise from $56 from $50.   Frack sand prices is predicted to continue to increase for the next three years, continuing to support higher natural gas and oil prices.

Climate Change Damaging Global Economy

Global warming is a long-term problem and the impacts of climate change are slowly beginning to take a greater and greater toll on the economy in terms of economic output and growth. Climate change is having a widespread impact on everything from water resources to food production and weather patterns. Sea-level rise, floods, droughts, wildfires, and extreme storms not only cause great damage to property and infrastructure which calls for unforeseen government expenses towards extensive repair, but they also disrupt everyday life which can result in lost productivity. For example, sudden climate changes can mean lost work or school days as well as an impairment to transportation, agriculture, fisheries, and even tourism. To put things into perspectives, a report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that a global temperature rise of just 2.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels could lead to global economic losses between 0.2% and 2.0% of income. By the end of the century, it said that climate change could reduce labor productivity by 11% to 27% in humid, tropical areas.

Changing precipitation and melting ice are altering hydrological systems, affecting water resources in terms of quality and quantity. In addition, many marine species have shifted their geographic ranges, seasonal activities, and migration patterns to adapt to these changes. The largest impact, however, has been on crops, with negative impacts outweighing the positive impacts.

There are large differences between and within countries, however, impacts are being felt most heavily in developing countries. In Bangladesh, for instance, climate change has resulted in total losses of about 3-4% of GDP. Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s prime minister, states that “A 1C rise in temperature is associated with 10% productivity loss in farming.” It is the equivalent of losing 4 million tons of food grain, amounting to about $2.5 billion in addition to adding up the damages to property and other losses. It is estimated that by 2030, the cost of climate change and air pollution combined will rise to 3.2% of global GDP with the world’s least developed countries suffering losses up to 11% of their GDP.

For countries at all levels of development, these impacts are consistent with a significant lack of preparedness for current climate variability. Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps. With losses possibly accelerating with greater warming, a call for swift actions on greenhouse gas emissions is a step in the right direction.