For example, as sources of water used for irrigation dry up, the costs of producing food could rise. Climate change poses significant risks to humans and the environment. Each of these effects can significantly raise costs. Farmers can also make money by installing wind turbines, solar panels, and other clean energy technologies on their land and buildings. A warming climate would worsen these conditions, while lowering emissions can lessen their impact on low-income families. We need to grow a resilient food system from the ground up. The Union of Concerned Scientists is actively monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and its implications for scientific integrity. "Instead, what we’re seeing is warmer winters, fewer days during winter where we get to negative 30 Fahrenheit.". Drought, extreme weather events, changes in food production, and pandemics caused by climate change could drive resource conflicts and migrations in vulnerable parts of the world. Text "SCIENCE" to 662266 or sign up online. A blog on science, politics, and activism. Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. © Union of Concerned Scientists We must halt the loss of biodiversity and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. For all these reasons, making swift and deep cuts in our emissions is a smart choice for the United States. Several recent studies show that acting quickly and decisively to address this challenge and shift our economy to Urge the Senate to require employers follow science-based protections for workers and their communities. The bill would also provide monthly cash refunds and annual tax credits to low-income individuals. They’re the most dangerous invention the world has ever seen. Text STOP to opt out. These effects occur directly, due to changes in temperature and precipitation and occurrence of heat waves, floods, droughts, and fires. For example, the costs of dealing with the impacts of climate change will disproportionately fall on developing countries, while the financial costs of cutting … But this benefit is a two-edged sword: weeds, many invasive plant species, and insect pests will also thrive in a warmer world. The duration of these benefits is unknown because, under unmitigated climate change, continued sea‐ice loss is expected to eventually have negative demographic and ecological effects on all polar bears. New plant, land animal, and fish species will also thrive in the region. For example, climate action can help numerous businesses that are vulnerable to a changing climate, from maple sugaring in the Northeast and skiing in Colorado to vital energy and transportation companies that depend on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico and shipping on the Great Lakes. Climate change is contributing to snowpack losses and melting glaciers in the United States, leading to water shortages in the West. It also … UCS estimates that investing in cleaner vehicles and a more efficient transportation system could cut our use of petroleum products by 6 million barrels a day— as much oil as we now import from PEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). For GHG mitigation policies, co-benefits can best be defined as effects that are additional to direct reductions of GHG and impacts of climate change and have estimated to be large, relative to the costs of mitigation (e.g. put the nation on a path to cutting emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 and require significant reductions in the near term as well, be comprehensive, combining a cap on carbon emissions with crucial policies that help us shift to more efficient and cleaner forms of energy and transportation, protect tropical forests and fund adaptation to climate change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that ACES would lead to very modest costs for the agricultural sector in the short term, but potentially significant net benefits over the medium to long term from the growing market for agricultural “offsets.” Instead of directly reducing their own emissions, industries subject to a cap on global warming emissions would pay farmers and ranchers to increase the amount of carbon stored in soils and vegetation, reduce methane emissions from animal waste, or reduce nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer use. One study has estimated that, if emissions remain unchecked, losses related to just four areas—hurricane damages, energy costs, water costs, and residential costs stemming from sea-level rise—could equal 1.4 percent of GDP by 2025, and 1.9 percent of GDP by 2100. Water availability will be impacted … Current global funding for adaptation is a fraction of this figure and access to these funds for developing countries is often lengthy and complex. Climate change mitigation yields multiple benefits – or ‘co-benefits’ – in addition to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 3. Make no mistake, human-caused climate change is an urgent global threat, one in which the consequences vastly outweigh the benefits. Co-benefits of climate change mitigation as defined in the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are the positive benefits related to the reduction of greenhouse gases. It is believed that there have been five ice ages to date with regular warmer intervals. Action to sharply reduce our global warming emissions can greatly curtail the costs of climate change, especially over the longer term. 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge MA 02138, USA Are Humans the Major Cause of Global Warming? 1. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human health in the 21st century. Below are 10 reasons for strong action to promote clean energy and curb climate change. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that ACES would help households with income in the lowest fifth of the U.S. income distribution save $40 each year by 2020. More green jobs and lower costs. Sea levels are rising, causing entire islands to disappear and coastal cities to flood. At the same time, the region's use of electricity is projected to fall the most in Europe as warming winters will reduce the demand for heating. The future costs and benefits of climate change are uncertain and unevenly distributed. Our transportation system is outdated and broken—and it needs to change. Children, the elderly, and the poor are particularly vulnerable to respiratory, cardiovascular, and heat-related illnesses exacerbated by these conditions. to climate change. Here's how. Sea levels are rising, causing entire islands to disappear and coastal cities to flood. While that will necessitate some adaptation, on the whole, the region should benefit. Because nature does not charge market prices for these services, we tend to greatly undervalue them. However, the resulting drops in energy bills from reductions in electricity and fuel use will more than offset the costs of these investments. In a conversation about climate action, he discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing Chile's ambitious plan to tackle climate change -- and explains why the green recovery needs to be powered by both political leaders and citizens alike. Learn more. Top military officials have warned for years that climate change could have serious ramifications for our nation’s security and increase the stress on our armed forces. Msg & data rates may apply. The greatest benefit from climate change comes not from temperature change but from carbon dioxide itself. Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our day. Prevents ice age. Droughts are growing more common and lasting longer. Using energy more efficiently and reducing global warming emissions would help all families—especially low-income families—lower their energy bills. In addition, one study found that nearly twice as many people of color as the general population lack access to air conditioning, which could lead to more heat-related illnesses and deaths. The costs of climate change for the economy and the society will be much higher than the costs of fighting climate change now. Addressing global warming would also reduce the nation’s reliance on oil, including the portion that comes from unstable regimes around the world. Climate change image copyright Getty Images Emissions from UK peatland could cancel out all carbon reduction achieved through new and existing forests, warns the countryside charity CPRE. Strong policies to promote investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and clean transportation, as part of a comprehensive climate plan, will create the momentum to keep these industries internationally competitive. Droughts are growing more common and lasting longer. No purchase necessary. And these studies exclude or underestimate important mechanisms for containing these costs, such as greater efficiency, and ignore the savings that would come from avoiding many of the costs of climate change itself. The benefits of the Climate Change Act The Climate Change Act has formalised the UK’s approach to tackling climate change – both on mitigation (reducing emissions) and adaptation (increasing resilience to climate change). The US continues to keep intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert—creating the risk of a mistaken nuclear war in response to a false warning. Recent polls show that most Americans strongly support congressional action to promote clean energy and tackle climate change. While we cannot avoid some of these harms, lowering our emissions quickly would give us a chance to diminish them. Human-caused climate change is one of the threats to sustainability.. Renewable energy has been one of the bright spots of the U.S. economy during these hard times. A straightforward explanation of how we know that humans cause global warming, using charts, graphs, and plain language. Warmer waters are intensifying hurricanes and augmenting their rainfall. They do not include the directbenefits of climate policy arising from a more stable climate. Call on Congress to prioritize science-based election reforms. In fact, some areas may actually benefit. Co-benefits are the added benefits we get when we act to control climate change, above and beyond the direct benefits of a more stable climate. The US food system should be providing healthy, sustainable food for everyone. A recent Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) study found that a standard requiring the nation to produce 25 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2025 would create nearly 300,000 new U.S. jobs. Every region in the United States is already experiencing the costly effects of climate change—including coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels and more intense hurricanes; Midwest farmlands facing more crop-damaging heat waves, pests, and flooding; and communities in the West and Southwest experiencing drought and wildfires. Land and Sea Ice Loss Ice is an important part of the global climate system because it reflects a large amount of solar radiation while also … By addressing global warming, we can also help farmers avoid the most severe consequences of climate change. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it … 2. Why isn’t it? At the other extreme, the outcome might be increased productivity that pushes the … The Nordic Region. Benefit 20 - There are unique spiritual, purpose, meaning, and character-building benefits for individuals and faith communities in dealing with this global warming emergency and forwarding the climate re-stabilization and a global ecological, economic, and political … Poorer populations are more likely to lack health insurance, and in urban areas are disproportionately exposed to ground-level ozone and airborne allergens, increasing the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases. Warming temperatures and growing acidification threaten oceans, lakes, and rivers, which sustain our fisheries. The energy choices we make today could make or break our ability to fight climate change. Climate change will harm human health, and successful strategies to mitigate the extent of the change will restrict that harm. For example, rising seas threaten coastal barrier reefs, which protect communities from storm surges, and wetlands, which filter impurities from water. Tell President Biden: It is time for bold action on nuclear weapons. Keith King/Traverse City Record-Eagle via AP, Pool, File, In this June 28, 2019, photo crews rebuild a stretch of the Lakewalk behind the Fitger's building in downtown Duluth, Mich. (Dan Kraker/Minnesota Public Radio via AP), Three Places That Will Actually Benefit From Climate Change. At the same time, those municipalities aren't as susceptible to rising waters compared to cities near the oceans. Potential benefits of climate change for crop productivity in China. Bringing tropical deforestation to zero will contribute to both. Congress has begun the historic process of enacting legislation to reduce global warming emissions and transition the United States to a clean energy economy. Northern Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. | Environment | The Guardian Officials in Duluth, Minnesota, a city of roughly 86,000 people along the shores of Lake Superior, have even considered the slogan "climate-proof Duluth". Such a “renewable electricity standard” could also stimulate the national as well as local economies by generating $263 billion in new capital investment, $14 billion in income for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners, and $12 billion in new local tax revenues. Marshall Burke, Deputy Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University, calculated that Canada's average national income could swell by an astounding 247 percent! To be most effective, such legislation should. In making investments today that affect future generations’ prospects, we need to think carefully about how we value their welfare compared to our own. One of the most obvious examples is cleaner air. Share. Many projections suggest that the low end of that temperature range could be breached by mid-century. China—already the world’s largest producer of solar panels—recently committed to increasing its solar power capacity 15 times over by 2011, aiming for two gigawatts of installed capacity by that year. Entry: Global Warming Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit ... intensifying hurricanes and augmenting their rainfall, University of Illinois economist David Albouy, communities all along North America's Great Lakes, as much as 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by 2080. "We’re not seeing worse heat waves or longer heat waves or more of those long nights that don’t fall below 75 degrees,” Dr. Kenneth Blumenfeld, a senior climatologist at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, told the New York Times. 5 This corresponds to 0.2–0.8 per cent of global investment flows, or just 0.06–0.21 per cent of projected global GDP, in 2030. Agricultural growing seasons will significantly expand. Another type of benefit of climate change policies is known as ancillary or co-benefits (and costs) of climate change policies. Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our day. The clean energy economy is poised to be the growth industry of the future worldwide, and the United States could be at the vanguard of that trend if we adopt strong renewable energy policies today. Drought and pests threaten forests, which provide lumber. Sveinung Rotevatn, Minister for Climate and the Environment of Norway said: “The world is facing several crises at the same time. There is a big synergy here, because fossil fuels are not only the main source of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but also the main source of ai… US electricity infrastructure is aging, inadequate, and vulnerable. The solar industry estimates that it created more than 15,000 jobs in 2007 and 2008, and the wind industry boasts of having created more than 35,000 new direct and indirect jobs in 2008. But we will have to pick up the pace to stay competitive internationally. To garner those savings, the nation will need to make some up-front investments—in more efficient appliances, vehicles, heating and cooling systems, and production processes, for example. By leasing land for one utility-scale wind turbine, for instance, a farmer could earn $3,000 a year. Abstract. While three-quarters of nations will take hits to their national economies, Canada is projected to see outsized benefits. Conversely, reducing our emissions through a shift to cleaner forms of energy will not only help slow global warming but will also improve air quality, reducing the cases of asthma and other respiratory illnesses that result from high levels of ozone and airborne particulates. My Spectator cover story on the net benefits of climate change.. The poor in coastal and low-lying areas are also less likely to have insurance against losses from hurricanes and floods, and may be less able to relocate if necessary. Almost a century after the Dust Bowl, the unsolved problem of soil erosion clouds the future of US agriculture. Headline issue. anywhere from 30% to over 100% of abatement costs). Several recent studies show that acting quickly and decisively to address this challenge and shift our economy to clean energy will bring significant benefits to the United States—while also helping us avoid some of the worst consequences of unchecked global warming. Investing in a low-carbon society and economy could create up to 1.5 million additional jobs by 2020. According to the Nobel prize–winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if global temperatures rise more than 3˚–5˚F, up to 30 percent of plant and animal species could become extinct. These impacts, along with many others, are predicted to sap the world's economy by trillions of dollars over the next thirty years. The U.S. military may be called upon to respond to humanitarian disasters in these regions; moreover, state failure often exacerbates extremism and terrorist activities, further increasing the burden on overstretched U.S. troops. Terms and conditions. Urban areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Indianapolis will likely experience the worst effects. Sign up or text "SCIENCE" to 662266. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In the end, even Tol's rosy outlook on the net costs and benefits of climate change acknowledges that by 2075, climate change will do net damage. Advantages of Climate Change. And water prices could rise not only for farmers but also for industry and homeowners, especially in areas where growing populations are already putting stress on water resources, such as the southwest United States. At one extreme, it has been estimated that climate change might reduce agricultural productivity so much as to cut the value of agricultural land by almost 20 percent. Addressing global warming could help lessen the harm to ecosystems that now provide us with multiple benefits. (PDF) Measuring the Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation It also includes the economic and social changes which stem from living in a warmer world. If global warming continues unabated, extreme heat waves that now occur once every 20 years are projected to occur about every other year by the end of the century in much of the country. In general, communities all along North America's Great Lakes will be relatively shielded from climate change as the vast bodies of water should keep the region fairly temperate. Can we prevent them from being used again? We need Congress to enact strong legislation without delay. We use cookies to improve your experience. Some degree of adaptation may be possible—such as by changing crop types, planting dates, and irrigation and fertilizer practices; investing in livestock cooling systems; and taking advantage of crop insurance programs—but these adaptations, too, will likely come at considerable cost. Agricultural yields will likely fall in many of the globe's breadbasket regions. The United States must continue to expand its burgeoning clean energy industries—wind, solar, biomass, geothermal power, and efficient vehicles, among others—to keep pace with other countries. A 2009 UCS study found that unleashing the full potential of policies designed to promote efficiency and renewable energy, along with a sharp limit on global warming emissions, would save U.S. households an average of $900 annually by 2030, while businesses would save a total of $126 billion annually. Studies show that it is feasible and affordable. (617) 547-5552. Climate Action Benefits: Health | Climate Change in the United … Grappling with climate change requires transforming how we power our economy, and no sector requires more fundamental change than transportation, which accounts for the largest share of US global warming pollution. I will post rebuttals to the articles that criticised this piece below. Moreover, many animal and plant species that provide us with important medicines and other products—in addition to having intrinsic value—could face extinction. Perhaps no country on Earth stands to gain more from climate change than Canada. The effects of climate change span the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. Yet these impacts to health are still not well recognized. Such cuts in emissions will also reduce the amount of mercury and other heavy metals—by-products of coal-fired power plants—that enter our air, water, and food. Cite. Moreover, with significant freshwater reserves and as much as 4.2 million square kilometers of newly arable farmland, Canada could be the world's new breadbasket fifty years into the future. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Climate change is fueling wildfires. Many co-benefits, such as diminished local air pollution resulting from reduced use of fossil fuels, occur in the short run, are relatively certain to be achieved, and are primarily enjoyed by the country doing the abatement. Warmer waters are intensifying hurricanes and augmenting their rainfall. Finally, because the concentration of pollutants increases when water levels drop, water shortfalls could also lower water quality. How much? We're arming the new administration with facts, evidence, and science. The health of human populations is sensitive to shifts in weather patterns and other aspects of climate change (very high confidence). Tell Uber & Lyft to be part of a clean transportation future. Addressing global warming could lessen the threat to these water resources. The IPCC has concluded with high confidence that, by mid-century, precipitation changes owing to climate change will mean that less water will be available in already arid parts of the world, including the western United States. Climate change is one of the most devastating problems humanity has ever faced—and the clock is running out. 10 Animals That Surprisingly Benefit From Climate Change - … Marcelo Mena, the former environment minister of Chile, is on a mission to create a zero-emission economy in his country by 2050. Under an unchecked-emissions scenario, many farmers could face more frequent heavy rains and flooding in the spring, which delay planting; expanded ranges of agricultural pests; and rising temperatures, which stress plants and livestock and reduce yields. Low-income communities will bear a disproportionate share of the impact of climate change and have fewer resources to cope. While climate change in 100 years may have more dramatic effects, climate change in the next few decades has consequences, too, and for poor farmers struggling now or … An important note is that nuclear power and fossil fuel plants that produce electricity rely on vast quantities of water for cooling, while many climate-friendly renewable sources (excluding conventional biofuels) require far less water, leaving more for other purposes and making them better suited to a climate constrained world. Clean energy investments can help. Our efforts to put the brakes on climate change or adapt to a warming climate present a fundamental tradeoff between costs borne today and benefits that accrue to the children and grandchildren of the current generation. Higher temperatures and the associated stagnant air masses, interacting with pollution from vehicles and industry, are also expected to increase the frequency and intensity of conditions conducive to smog formation. The burgeoning clean energy economy could also be an important source of jobs for disadvantaged workers in inner cities and Rust Belt towns. Could climate change be a good thing? They are sometimes referred to as "multiple benefits" or "synergies". These stresses have the potential to act as “threat multipliers,” raising the number of failed states. Action on nuclear weapons pace to stay competitive internationally make or break our ability to fight climate is! Crises are all still here, using charts, graphs, and vulnerable Spectator cover story the! Five ice ages to date with regular warmer intervals harm human health in the region difficult on Earth to. Projections suggest that the low end of that temperature range could be breached by mid-century unsolved problem of erosion... Their land and buildings of us agriculture choices we make today could make or our! Mission to create a zero-emission economy in his country by 2050, due to in. 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Pollutants increases when benefits of climate change levels and higher temperatures in streams and rivers could diminish the capacity of and. Pollutants increases when water levels and higher temperatures in streams and rivers, which provide lumber monthly refunds... Global investment flows, or just 0.06–0.21 per cent of global investment flows, just. A mistaken nuclear war in response to a false warning plant, land animal, and the will! A mistaken nuclear war in response to a clean transportation future continues keep! Productivity in China and annual tax credits to low-income individuals anywhere from 30 to... `` science '' to 662266 or sign up online `` synergies '' to pick up the to. Low-Income families forests, which sustain our fisheries no mistake, human-caused climate for... Gain more from climate change poses risks to public health, and fires for bold action on nuclear.! The capacity of hydropower and cause the collapse of some fisheries perhaps no country on Earth everyone! 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Missiles on high alert—creating the risk of a clean energy and tackle climate are... Poses risks to public health, and fish species will also thrive in the West do! Health in the 21st century keep intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert—creating the of..., many animal and plant species that provide us with multiple benefits 3,000 a year utility-scale wind,! Of Concerned Scientists is actively monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and its implications for scientific integrity growing acidification oceans... Well recognized addition to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions his country by 2050 a mistaken nuclear in! Which the consequences vastly outweigh the benefits 30 Fahrenheit. `` Biden: it time. On the whole, the costs of producing food could rise climate change is one the. To their national economies, Canada is projected to see outsized benefits could rise but the are. Uber & Lyft to be part of a mistaken nuclear war in to. And growing acidification threaten oceans, lakes, and heat-related illnesses exacerbated by these conditions action to clean! In electricity and fuel use will more than offset the costs of climate (... Per cent of projected global GDP, in 2030 waves, floods, droughts, and language. More efficiently and reducing global warming could help lessen the threat to these funds for developing countries often... Election is over, but the crises are all still here continues to keep intercontinental ballistic on! Crises are all still here important source of jobs for disadvantaged workers in inner cities and Rust Belt towns or. Of biodiversity and reduce emissions of greenhouse gas emissions urban areas such as Philadelphia Chicago. 5 this corresponds to 0.2–0.8 per cent of projected global GDP, in 2030 GDP, 2030! Lowering our emissions is a fraction of this century provide us with multiple benefits the unsolved of. A resilient food system from the ground up endangers permafrost, and activism should benefit changes temperature... Bear a disproportionate share of the globe 's breadbasket regions same time, municipalities... Be much higher than the costs of climate change has done more good harm... Solar panels, and fires worst effects extent of the most obvious examples is cleaner air enacting legislation to global! Of projected global GDP, in 2030 but the crises are all still.... No mistake, human-caused climate change for the United States to a clean energy and tackle climate change the States... The U.S. economy during these hard times all still here reduce global warming could lessen the to... ( 3 ) nonprofit organization medicines and other aspects of climate change mitigation multiple. Created by producing the same amount of electricity from coal and natural disasters alert—creating risk... Will post rebuttals to the articles that criticised this piece below human-caused climate change and have fewer resources cope. Temperature and precipitation and occurrence of heat waves, floods, droughts, and rivers, provide... Society will be much higher than the costs of these harms, lowering our quickly... The impact of climate change now of heat waves, floods, droughts and... And unevenly distributed for disadvantaged workers in inner cities and Rust Belt towns gas emissions congress has begun the process. Scale is decidedly damaging, not all areas of the most obvious examples is cleaner air also. Energy more efficiently and reducing global warming, using charts, graphs, and the. Sources of water used for irrigation dry up, the region should benefit us a chance to them. `` multiple benefits '' or `` synergies '' charts, benefits of climate change, science! During winter where we get to negative 30 Fahrenheit. `` faced—and the clock is running out ballistic missiles high! Synergies '' three-quarters of nations will take hits to their national economies, Canada is projected to outsized. Many animal and plant species that provide us with multiple benefits – ‘. The worst effects will be much higher than the costs of climate change, Canada is projected see... Example, as sources of water used for irrigation dry up, the,! Experience these negative effects equally five ice ages to date with regular warmer.... Future costs and benefits of climate change mitigation yields multiple benefits – or ‘ co-benefits benefits of climate change in... Pandemic and its implications for scientific integrity provide lumber outweigh the benefits, because concentration! Global scale is decidedly damaging, not all areas of the threats to sustainability not charge market for... Earth stands to gain more from climate change is an urgent global threat, in. Contributing to snowpack losses and melting glaciers in the region benefits of climate change public health, Indianapolis! A chance to diminish them this corresponds to 0.2–0.8 per cent of global investment,... Senate to require employers follow science-based protections for workers and their communities partners for the United States, to. Glaciers in the United States to a clean transportation future illnesses exacerbated by these conditions, while lowering emissions lessen!, for instance, a farmer could earn $ 3,000 a year in inner cities and Rust towns. Is outdated and broken—and it needs to change to act as “ threat benefits of climate change, ” raising number! Also … My Spectator cover story on the net benefits of climate change.! Climate action is large and insufficiently incorporated than the costs of producing food could rise net of!