Re: [asa] UK Study: Cost of Climate Change Adaptation Greatly Underestimated

From: John Burgeson (ASA member) <>
Date: Tue Sep 15 2009 - 09:15:00 EDT

I strongly doubt that these figures will affect any sizable numbers of
the AGW deniers. They will simply say they are "made up" scenarios
based on what will certainly not happen.

More and more I see them "cherry picking" to argue their case. It is
embarrassing to see how many of our Christian brothers are influenced
by them.

On 9/14/09, Rich Blinne <> wrote:
> UK scientists have warned that UN negotiations aimed at tackling
> climate change are based on substantial underestimates of what it will
> cost to adapt to its impacts.
> The real costs of adaptation to climate change are likely to be two-to-
> three times greater than estimates made by the UN Framework Convention
> on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the researchers say.
> In a study published by the International Institute for Environment
> and Development and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, they
> add that costs will be even more when the full range of climate
> impacts on human activities is considered.
> The UNFCCC has estimated annual global costs of adapting to climate
> change to be $40170 billion, or the cost of about three Olympic Games
> per year.
> But the report's authors including Dr Pam Berry from the
> Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University say that these
> estimates were produced too quickly and did not include key sectors
> such as energy, manufacturing, retailing, mining, tourism and
> ecosystems.
> Dr Berry led the work on estimating the costs of protecting ecosystems
> and the services they can provide for human society, which were
> excluded from the UNFCCC estimates. She found that this is an
> important source of under-estimation, and will cost over $350 billion,
> including both protected and non-protected areas.
> 'The costs of adaptation for ecosystems are potentially huge, the
> largest of any sector,' says Dr Berry. 'This is not only because of
> the projected future losses of species, but also because of the
> immense value of ecosystems for human health and well-being through
> the provision of food, fuel and fibre. The worrying feature is that
> our report has identified how little is known about this, the biggest
> elephant in the room. Even worse, uncertainty is leading to its
> omission from the overall figures, which will compound the
> underestimate.'
> The study's other findings include:
> Water: The UNFCCC estimate of $11 billion excluded costs of
> adapting to floods and assumes no costs for transferring water within
> nations from areas of surplus to areas of deficit. The underestimate
> could be substantial.
> Health: The UNFCCC assessed only malaria, diarrhoea and
> malnutrition and excluded developed nations in coming to a figure of
> $5 billion. But this may cover only 3050 per cent of the global total
> disease burden.
> Infrastructure: In arriving at a cost of $8130 billion, the UNFCCC
> assumed that low levels of investment in infrastructure will continue
> to characterise development in Africa and other relatively poor parts
> of the world. But the researchers point out that such investment must
> increase in order to reduce poverty and thus avoid continuing high
> levels of vulnerability to climate change. Their report says the costs
> of adapting this upgraded infrastructure to climate change will be
> eight times more than the higher estimates predicted by the UNFCCC.
> Coastal zones: The UNFCCC estimate of $11 billion excluded
> increased storm intensity and used low IPCC predictions of sea level
> rise. New research on sea-level rise published since the 2007 IPCC
> report, and including storms, suggests costs will be about three times
> greater than predicted.
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Received on Tue Sep 15 09:15:58 2009

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