Intense Hurricanes to Trigger Superlinear Growth Losses in US Economy due to Climate Change- According to a groundbreaking new study, global warming is likely to exacerbate hurricanes in the North Atlantic region of the US economy, potentially having devastating results for economic growth. Researchers found that intense hurricane activity will increase dramatically over the coming years as global warming accelerates.
In an effort to assess the scale of the issue, researchers created an event-based macroeconomic growth model which examined how hurricane shocks influence growth. Their research revealed that economic losses could rise on a superlinear scale–meaning, they increase in proportionate proportion to damage severity–depending on damage severity.
The study indicates that as hurricane damage increases, indirect losses may also rise – potentially leading to an incomplete economic recovery between each successive intense landfall event. According to their estimates, annual growth losses would range between 10% and 146% higher in a 2degC world compared with 1980-2014 depending on how they projected future hurricane frequency increase to be.
Researchers concluded that higher insurance coverage could help offset the increased growth losses caused by climate change. While these results are disconcerting, they offer some hope that effective mitigation measures could reduce the effects of intensifying hurricanes on the US economy.
The research emphasizes the urgency of combatting climate change and calls for concerted global action to limit warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. Failure to do so could have devastating repercussions across economies worldwide.
Research led by Dr. Carl Otto at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has revealed that intense hurricanes in the US could have far greater economic consequences than previously estimated. These results should serve as a timely reminder to both policymakers and businesses to take immediate steps to mitigate climate change risks.
According to the report, hurricanes cause both direct and indirect economic losses such as damage to buildings and infrastructure, loss of productivity, and disruptions to supply chains. Furthermore, global warming will make hurricanes more intense and frequent resulting in even greater losses.
The report emphasizes the need for increased investment in infrastructure, improved planning and zoning policies, as well as better emergency response measures to minimize hurricane risks. It also advocates for greater international collaboration to address climate change’s root causes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Researchers warn that failing to address climate change risks could cause significant economic and social disruptions in both the US and beyond. In addition to economic costs, intense hurricanes cause loss of life and displacement, exacerbating existing inequalities and social tensions.
The study’s conclusion is that while higher insurance coverage can help mitigate the impact of intense hurricanes, it does not replace more comprehensive and proactive measures to address climate change risks. These findings should serve as a wake-up call to policymakers, businesses, and individuals alike to take urgent action in order to mitigate climate risks and guarantee a sustainable future for generations yet unborn.
Source: Otto, C., Kuhla, K., Geiger, T., Schewe, J., & Frieler, K. (2023). Better insurance could effectively mitigate the increase in economic growth losses from US hurricanes under global warming. Science Advances, 9(1), eadd6616.
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