The Economic Consequences of Climate Change

Zhilina I.Yu.


Over the recent decades, the world population is increasingly being challenged by various manifestations of climate change. The prevalent opinion of the climatologists is that the climate changes have anthropogenic causes. Human activity leads to the increase of the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and this factor heats the planet. The increase in the average world temperature causes misbalances in all of the natural systems: changing the modes for atmosphere precipitation, producing temperature anomalies, polar ice melting, increasing the ocean level, acidification of the ocean due to the absorption of carbon dioxide. As a result, the frequency of extreme events (hurricanes, droughts, floods, cyclones) increases. They threaten the people, flora, fauna and cause economical damage to all countries. The international institutions (UN, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Economic Forum) label global warming as one of the most serious threats to the upcoming decade. Extreme weather phenomenon caused by climate change can result in global economical losses if the emission of the greenhouse gases is not noticeably diminished during the upcoming two or three decades. Otherwise, the world average temperature will rise to 4,5–5ºС or even higher, and this factor will be a threat to the existence of the entire civilization. The author cites statistics on the changes of climate parameters and their impact on economy and society from 1998 to 2019. The analysis demonstrates that the economic damage concentrate in the countries with high income, whereas the human losses – mainly in the low-income countries, as the risks for populations stem chiefly from economic developments rather than from the vulnerabilities to natural disasters. In conclusion, presented are long-term scenarios for climate changes under various world temperature levels as well as possible mitigation and adaptation strategies for combatting global warming.


climate change; global warming; Paris agreement; natural disasters; vulnerability factors; human losses; economic damage; mitigation; adaptation; long-term forecasts.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.03.04

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