Our Nation is Baking in the Heat and So Is Our Economy

tempmap62912We've been so busy with bail outs, unemployment, corruption and the destruction of the middle class, we as a nation seem to have put global warming on the back burner. With the country baking, temperatures so high assuredly there will be deaths, let's revisit the economic impact of climate change. Below is NASA's witness global warming in 26 seconds video.



The heat wave of March is already been blamed on global warming. May was the 2nd warmest on record. Climate change is being implicated for the Colorado wildfires . The corn crop has already taken a hit with the supply dropping to 1996 levels and just last week a hailstorm cost Dallas a record $2 billion.

Now the country is baking and it seems we maybe in the oven permanently. Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe has dire predictions of the number of over 100°F days expected for the United States. The below map shows the time temperatures were above 100°F from 1961-1979, or what should be considered normal.

100 degree 1979 temp

Now here is what happens with emissions continuing on by 2070 if greenhouse gas emissions are 1000 ppm. Most of the country has 100°F or hotter temperatures for weeks on end.

100 degree 2070 temp

NASA has said with greenhouse gas emissions at 850ppm we're looking at an overall 9-11°F temperature increase. Below is Hayhoe's temperature increase projections from 2005.


What is even more frightening is the claim the U.S. must reduce CO2 emissions by 80% below 2000 levels.

What we rarely heard about is the negative economic impact global warming will have. We continually hear denials this is happening as well as claims regulation and those nasty green and environmental people will cost businesses. We do not hear how global warming is a threat to economic activity. With that, we tried to find some facts as we could.

From the USGCRP Global Change site, is a 2009 report outlining the global climate change impact on the United States. First, the heat assumptions from this report.

The global average temperature since 1900 has risen by about 1.5ºF. By 2100, it is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5ºF.

Last year two Texas towns literally ran out of water. Needless to say this shut down economic activity, without water there is nothing. Next we will have electricity shortages, both from a supply and demand perspective.

With more intense, longer-lasting heat wave events projected to occur over this century, demands for air conditioning are expected to deplete electricity supplies, increasing risks of brownouts and black-outs. Electricity supplies will also be affected by changes in the timing of river flows and where hydroelectric systems have limited storage capacity and reservoirs.

We just saw the East Coast shore become a 600 mile flood zone due to rising sea levels. Here are few of the more mundane economic impacts from the USGCRP:

Sea-level rise would potentially affect commercial transportation activity valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually through inundation of area roads, railroads, airports, seaports, and pipelines.

A 17 percent reduction in freight carrying capacity for a single Boeing 747 at the Denver airport by 2030 and a 9 percent reduction at the Phoenix airport due to increased temperature and water vapor.

Controlling weeds currently costs the United States more than $11 billion a year, with the majority spent on herbicides; so both herbicide use and costs are likely to increase as temperatures and carbon dioxide levels rise.

Insect pests are economically important stresses on forest ecosystems in the United States. Coupled with pathogens, they cost $1.5 billion in damage per year.

Agriculture production is expected to be less and flooding will be a major problem, straining insurance companies. The report also predicts greater immigration to the United States, from those lands closer to the equator being destroyed by the heat, straining further our limited resources. Yes folks, increased immigration does strain resources. It's population and that's part of the problem here, globally.

The WPF also lists some economic impacts:

Reports find that unless action is taken now, the economic costs of climate change could amount to US $20 trillion annually by 2100 - that’s 6-8% of global economic output. Since 1990, annual losses of around $60 billion due to climate change have been recorded - with 2005 costing a record $200 billion.

In The Economic Effects of Climate Change, by Economist Richard Toj, we have 14 estimates on global warming's impact on global economic output. It seems the consensus point for disaster is a 2°C (3.6°F) overall temperature increase.

climate change gdp

We already have some cost estimates for natural disasters, but the disconnect seems to be thinking these are one time events. For example, Hurricane Katrina is estimated to have cost $125 billion in economic losses. European had a killer heat wave in 2003, which cost $15 billion in damages (and killed 70,000 people). Flood damages for Europe are projected to ring up €100 to €140 billion in damages. The Russian heat wave cost $15 billion and killed thousands. That's about 1% of Russia's economy.

Paul Volcker has spoken out about the economic effects of climate change, that something must be done or in the next 30 years we are gonna be in the economic crapper.

The Cap & Trade attempts to curtail CO2 emissions failed miserably and that's no surprise since it was a glorified new derivative trade for Wall Street.

Can anything be done right now, which wouldn't cause a major economic disruption? From the USGCRP report:

Reducing emissions of some shorter-lived heat-trapping gases, such as methane, and some types of particles, such as soot, would begin to ,strong>reduce warming within weeks to decades.

Aha! Will the globe do anything? No, of course not. Needless to say with the never ending drum beat to repeal Obamacare, doing something like saving the planet and our economy is not on the Congressional radar.

This lastest heat wave with extreme winds, destruction are astounding. We'll see what the scientists say about climate change being the direct connection, but anyone outside who was alive in 1979 knows it is just getting hotter and hotter.

76 daily high temperature records were set yesterday, and 1,456 daily high records in the past seven days.

By the way, if you haven't seen Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, here is it, with Vietnamese subtitles, below. Clearly Al is right and oh yeah, he should have been President.





More of the same - do as I say, not as I do - same D & R elitism

Gore, no thanks, the other option again the other side of the same coin. Not a fan of either choice, all politicians in D & R same lack of moral fiber in public and private lives. Gore was right there along with old Mr. Bill "Son of Hope - Hope you aren't an American worker about to get screwed by NAFTA and Alan Greenspan" Clinton. The same Bill Clinton now representing foreign nations and making millions while his "wife" works as Secy. of State (damn you ethics and conflicts of interest, real and apparent). Gore did nothing to stop it. Gore's father set him up, like Murdoch set his son up for life of $ and privilege, like Bush did for his sons, Senator Buffett set his son up, Joe Kennedy/rum runner/inside trader/American ambassor to the UK that had to be recalled for his appeasement stance set up his clan, etc. All the same private club and, as old George Carlin said, we ain't in it. Not pulling a partisan thing here, just dislike them all and don't trust any one of them, especially when there are millions of people that didn't earn any Nobel Prizes or press coverage who literally die fighting corruption, abuses, sacrifice themselves to stop their family, relatives, etc. from getting raped and murdered daily in S. America, Africa, Asia, and elsewhere. Gore's living the highlife like the rest of the 1% while thinking he knows how the "common man/woman" lives. Nope.

We would be better off as a Nation if we randomly selected a citizen from the populace and made him serve in Congress. That would ensure we educated our populace in classic liberal arts like Jefferson, etc. wanted (science, math, history, and other subjects) because anyone could be eligible for service. That would prevent grooming or buying candidates like we have nowadays. It would ensure a caring and educated and involved populace. And no serving citizen could be richer during or after his limited service and would be accountable to fellow citizens and the govt. And if the "elite" don't listen to the populace soon, Cincinnatus and others will speak as if they are alive and well.


Al Gore reference is alluding to election 2000 "recount"

I agree, Mr. NAFTA there is bad news for the economy, but Bush clearly was worse. Don't worry, be happy, not promoting Al Gore here and his corporate corrupt economic agenda, especially trade, but on global warming, facts he has really pushed hard, tried, so in that area he's one of the good guys.

You speak with too much certainty

If you would have provided a detailed chart of Hayhoe's projections your readers would have seen that her projections are already diverging from reality. You also did not include her error bars for her future scenarios nor did you identify the model(s0 used. That is your prerogative but when someone makes claims about future climate, it is customary to identify the weaknesses in those projections too, otherwise it gives the impression that that you are biased.

The problem is that you state, "Now here is what happens with emissions continuing on by 2070 if greenhouse gas emissions are 1000 ppm" but you make the error of claiming that future projections are fact and they are not. A great example of how such assumptions can be wrong is unfolding in the Antarctic right now. The estimates of modeled mass balance loss have been found to be completely wrong and future Antarctic contribution to sea level rise exaggerated. See the links below for the science on how the models were found to be so wrong:


People like me with science backgrounds who have programmed and used models would never express the certainty that you use in your article as if future projections were fact. The American Meteorological Society has demonstrated further problems with the models used for instance by the IPCC and testing projections made in the 1990s already diverging from measured satellite and buoy data. Read here if you would like to see how AMS scientists tested the IPCC models.


The IPCC itself warns, "In sum, a strategy must recognize what is possible. In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."


The measured outgoing longwave radiation radiation is greater now than in the 1980s which should not be happening because the additional CO2 in the atmosphere should have lowered OLR as the Earth's radiation budget seeks a new equilibrium. Companies that sell products are required to provide caveats and in climate science there are many caveats and most scientists, in the Feynman style of full disclosure, willingly offer caveats when discussing research and modeled projections and they should be included in any discussion of climate science as they always are in other fields of science.

heat map, temperature projections, "too certain" reply

I did check her projections on actual temperature against the latest NOAA and NASA temperature rise projections, mean, global, to 2070-2100 and they do match from what I reviewed.

The link above the maps for Hayhoe, "dire projections" goes to her slides, which is where I got these images from, so people can go through the entire presentation, which is long and see her error bars as well as projection ranges, assumptions.

That said, you are right, strictly speaking from a more Scientific basis, nothing is certain and this is one model that I could not even find the exact date of, I suspect it is from 2005-2009.

Please give me poetic license here for the real point is climate change will negatively impact the global economy. I think AGU agrees fundamentally temperatures are rising, so the GDP ratio to 2°C is really what I want to amplify, not the exact projections of > 100°F days. The maps are to show it's hotter and I do not believe one can refute the NASA time lapsed map that is put first to make this point. The NASA visual is recent, last May I believe.

If you want economics sites like this one to cover temperature or extreme weather projections from your models, do us a favor.

Either get NOAA/NASA to create some projection maps or enable their many databases to create custom historical data mapping as well as future projection mapping from models. They have it appears GIS(?) data and mapping scripts on their sites, just add some mapping, visual for the future, based on accepted modeling, from the Scientific community and enable mean, median, variance (error bars) too. One can create animated gifs even to show the variance via a map.

Frankly, I wanted some clear cut maps, visuals which show we're going to see many more > 100°F days, which is clear from most of the models. Finding facts on extreme weather events, anomalies is really data death valley and those are the real economic killers. Why we have so little mapping, visuals on projected extreme weather mapping I do not know, but that's the real point I was after. Those extreme temperatures and I could have used more on precipitation, hurricanes, sea levels but finding anything about extreme temperatures was a hunt & peck from hell.

For example, the GDP to °C is a fantastic economic research result, but the true economic killers are the extremes and why I list recent events and their costs. If one knows those weather projections, one can more finely tune an economic model as to how much it will cost, yearly, regional economies.

We're all econ, that's what I'm after, to show, global warming is a major economic threat.

I did hunt, high and low for multiple projections to get a convergence on models, but frankly I just could not image the data and I was on the NOAA/NASA data sites for hours, what can I say. Ya all, get visual, help us out here.

My real point of this post, beyond it's gonna get hotter, is to show the correlation of GDP to temperature. It just never comes up that this is gonna hit the global economy.

Thanks for clarifying and I

Thanks for clarifying and I understand and agree that it important to try to establish the relationship between climate change and economic loss. Have you interacted with Roger Pielke Jr. on the economic connections to climate change? He has done some ground breaking work on this and his work is very detailed and he is very up front on the caveats/weaknesses. I'm sure if you email Roger he will try to help you if he can.

Thanks for the reference, I will

I too am big on accuracy. Next major "heat" event and you know there will be many, I'll dig out his research, do some reviews to see what other specifics I can overview here.

The current "lobbyist" claim is that "regulation hurts business" and I believe the Exxon CEO just came out with some baloney recently. Solutions that actually work is of interest too.

CO2 Makes Venus a Cool Planet, Right?

It's not just CO2, but methane and water that heat the earth unnaturally. If the outgoing longwave radiation(refraction) of man-made heat effects the earth by reflection back to the earth. The earth will not heat up. But the earth is heating up for 200 hundred years, as CO2 levels have increased.
So what is the control in this theory of warming?

Science has models and controls. The control for the solar system in the earth's heating from CO2 and methane? Venus. Venus has an atmosphere of mostly CO2. It is hotter than Mercury (which has almost no CO2) and is much closer to the sun.

CO2 heat refraction back to the earth has a model and a control. That is how science works.

Burton Leed

Dude... turn on the A.C.

Did you hear the news? They found the Medieval Warming Period. It was a hell of lot warmer then (hint: why does Greenland have the name it does)?


Here's another hint for research: how much money did the members of the U.N.'s IPCC make after publishing their carbon trading recommendations amidst their drummed-up warming hysteria?


carbon trading, climate change deniers

If you notice we covered the bogusness of carbon trading, not really doing much for climate change and instead creating a new derivatives market for Goldman Sachs, et. al.

But your other link is just another bogus, spurious, non-scientific or baffle people with bullshit to deny global warming is happening.

I just hope they pay you people to run around and try to deny global warming, those corporate lobbyists and I hope you get paid at least minimum wage to do so.

Bottom line the scientific community has debunked links like you put over and over again.