According to a new Nature Research study, thawing permafrost in the Arctic will accelerate global warming which could add $70 trillion to the world’s climate change bill.
The report claims that a feedback mechanism combined with the failure of countries to live up to the Paris Climate Agreement goals and the loss of heat deflecting white ice, will cause an almost 5 % increase in global warming.
The study which was published on the nature.com website, claims that this could push up the global cost of climate change to $70 trillion between now and 2300.
Researchers say that in addition, the $70 trillion figure is almost ten times higher than any projected benefits from the melting Arctic, such as minerals access or better ship navigation routes.
As a comparison, the United States nominal GDP which represents the value of all the goods and services, is estimated to top $20 trillion this year. Last year, the European Union’s GDP was $18.8 trillion, which represents more than 1/5th of the global economy.
Scientists have been warning for years that an increasingly warm climate will have global consequences that can include powerful hurricanes, rising sea levels and more widespread wildfires and droughts.
Dmitry Yumashev of Lancaster University said that it is disheartening that we have this in front of us and even though we have the technology and policy instruments to limit the warming, we are not moving fast enough.