The earth has been experiencing the effects of an immense climate change, as greenhouse gas emissions, previously seen as no more than a small drawback of fuel resources, hit the US with full force.
There is new research that shows alarming major climate changes all over the world. Already an area that houses some of the country’s poorest communities, the Southern portion of the United States, is believed to take significant damage, while states in New England, the region of the Great Lakes, and the Pacific Northwest will suffer less or even see gains in economy.
SEAGLAS, a computer program that combined several climate simulations to forecast U.S. climate until 2100, predicted these changes in economy. Scientists believe that, assuming greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, temperature and rainfall alteration may take a toll on crop yields, crime rates, and energy expenditures.
According to ScienceNews.org, Solomon Hsiang, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, shares, “By the end of the century, some counties may see their gross domestic product decline by more than 20 percent, while others may actually experience more than a 10 percent increase in GDP. This could make for the biggest transfer of wealth in U.S. history.”
There is also strong belief that the economic variability in the different affected regions may have a bigger gap than SEAGLAS predicts because the simulation doesn’t account for wealth disparities within counties, Don Fullerton, an economist at the University of Illinois, says. People who are more well off in their economic state may have more options such as an air conditioner in a car or their homes.
Of course, there are oppositions to this new research. Not all researchers think that SEAGLAS is as accurate as it seems. One such researcher, Delavane Diaz, an energy and environmental policy analyst at the Electric Power Research Institute, says, “The simulation doesn’t fully account for adaptation to climate change. For example, people in coastal regions could mitigate the cost of sea level rise by flood-proofing structures or moving inland.” Other beneficial outlooks to the newly developed research can result from an increase in outdoor activity, which have many positive impacts on health of both the people and the earth.
In an interview with JSR, Jose Vasquez, a citizen of Los Angeles, said, “I’ve lived in the deserts of Mexico during my youth, but I think it’s even hotter here in Los Angeles during this time of day. The heat has me waterfalling sweat; it’s crazy, man.”
Although SEAGLAS is outputting merely simulations of a possible future, we all know one thing is for sure: global warming is a serious threat to global stability. As inhabitants of the Earth, we as humans are responsible for addressing this issue.