PEW Environment Report Says Melting Arctic Could Cost $2.4 Trillion by 2050

PEW Environmental Group – The Pew Environment Group today released a report that for the first time quantifies the global cost of the Arctic’s declining ability to cool the climate, indicating that the rapid melting of the region could carry a minimum price tag of $2.4 trillion U.S. by 2050. The report, issued as G7 finance ministers began a two‐day meeting in this southeast Baffin Island town, estimates that this year alone the climate cooling value lost by retreating Arctic sea ice and snow and thawing permafrost could be an estimated $61 billion U.S. to $371 billion U.S. On the low end of its projections, the report estimates that these costs could accumulate to almost $5 trillion U.S. by the end of the century if climate change is not abated …

The report calculates that this year alone, Arctic melting may warm the Earth an amount equivalent to pumping three billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. “That’s equal to forty percent of all U.S. industrial emissions this year or bringing on line more than 500 large coal‐burning power plants,” said Dr. Eugenie Euskirchen, co‐author of the report and a scientist from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks’ Institute of Arctic Biology.

Downloads (PDF): “An Initial Estimate of the Cost of Lost Climate Regulation Services Due to Changes in the Arctic Cryosphere” (full report). “Arctic Treasure: Global Assets Melting Away” (summary report).

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