SCIENTISTS HAVE LONG warned that climate change is likely to bring expensive impacts, from rising seas to stronger storms. And a new study comes with a hefty price tag.
A warming Arctic is shifting from white to dark as sea ice melts and land-covered snow retreats, and that means it can absorb even more of the sun’s heat. Plus, the Arctic’s vast permafrost area is thawing, releasing more heat-trapping carbon and methane. These climate-change-driven feedbacks in the Arctic are accelerating warming even faster and may add nearly $70 trillion to the overall costs of climate change—even if the world meets the Paris Agreement climate targets, a new study says.
However, if efforts can be made to keep climate change limited to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5C), the extra cost of Arctic warming drops to $25 trillion, new research published in Nature Communications reports. A trillion is a thousand billion. For comparison, the global GDP in 2016 was around $76 trillion.