Abrupt Climate Change and the Economy: A survey with application to Oregon

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Title: Abrupt Climate Change and the Economy: A survey with application to Oregon
Author: Climate Leadership Initiative; Goodstein, Eban S., 1960-; Doppelt, Bob
Abstract: The general warming of the Earth that is expected over the next century will have serious economic consequences for humans and natural ecosystems across the world. The Pacific Northwest is already experiencing adverse affects and more are likely the warmer it gets. [Resource Innovations (2005)] This will be true even if warming proceeds gradually. Globally, temperatures are expected to rise between 1◦ and 5◦ c (2◦-10◦ F) over the next hundred years. [IPCC (2001)] Regional warming is expected to be 5.4 ◦ F by mid-century. [Institute of Natural Resources (2004)] To put these numbers in perspective, during the last Ice Age, global temperatures averaged 9◦ F cooler than today, so a mid-range warming will approach a swing in global temperatures of Ice Age magnitude, only in the opposite direction. In Oregon, the most visible short run impacts will be felt through loss of snowpack and dramatic reductions in summer water supply for agriculture, and municipal and in-stream uses, as well as through sea level rise, and forest impacts. [Resource Innovations (2005)] This paper sketches the possibilities for more abrupt changes in the climate system, which would have potentially catastrophic impacts for the Oregon’s economy, and evaluates insurance motives for reducing global warming emissions in the state.
Description: 12 p. report and 2 maps depicting the potential impacts of catastrophic sea level rise on Oregon and on the Portland and Tillamook areas due to a collapse of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/3030
Date: 2006


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