Economic impacts of climate change will jump over next two decades

Average annual cost to buildings and infrastructure from eastern storms to rise by $7.3 billion.

July 19, 2017 |
A hurricane as viewed from space

Pixabay Public Domain

Climate change-induced higher sea levels combined with storm surge will likely increase the average annual cost of coastal storms along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico by $2 billion to $3.5 billion, according to a new report by the Risky Business Project.

When hurricanes are factored in, that tab will rise to $7.3 billion, the report says. Coastal property and infrastructure will bear the brunt of the damage. This will bring annual price tag for hurricanes and other coastal storms to $35 billion.

If nations around the world continue to pump current levels of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, by 2050 between $66 billion and $106 billion worth of existing coastal property will likely be below sea level nationwide. Some $238 billion to $507 billion worth of property would be below sea level by 2100.

Property losses from sea level rise are concentrated in the Southeast and Atlantic coasts, where the rise is higher and the losses are projected to be far greater than the national average.

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