Washington (AFP) Oct 20, 2010
The US Gulf Coast, battered by hurricanes and a devastating oil spill, faces cumulative losses of 350 billion dollars if it fails to address the effects of climate change, a new study said Wednesday.
The joint research by insurance firm Swiss Re and energy company Energy Corporation warns that Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama face annual losses of two to three percent of GDP by 2030 if they fail to act.
"Wind and storm surge damage today already amounts to an average 14 billion dollars per year in the region," said the study, which was released as the Gulf region commemorated six months since the start of the BP oil spill.
"Severe climate change, coupled with economic growth and land subsidence, could drive up expected annual losses by up to 65 percent," the study warned.
The research looked at assets across 77 coastal parishes and counties in the four states, and assessed the potential impact of natural disasters on the region's economy, particularly the electric, gas and oil sectors.
It warned that the three main current risks to the region -- hurricanes, subsidence and rising sea level -- were only likely to increase in coming decades.
"However, a key point is that regardless of climate change, the Gulf Coast faces an increase in risks from natural hazards going forward," the study said, because economic growth in risk-prone areas and land subsidence unrelated to climate change are expected to increase regardless.
The study recommends nine "no-regrets measures" that could mitigate the financial impact of future natural hazards, including better building codes, "beach nourishment," wetland restoration and levee systems.
"By investing 50 billion dollars in cost-effective measures over the next 20 years... Gulf Coast communities can avert up to 135 billion dollars in annual losses," the study said.
"There are potentially attractive measures that can keep the risk profile of the Gulf Coast constant over the next 20 years," said Andreas Spiegel, Swiss Re's senior climate change advisor.
The firm also said remaining risks in the region could be mitigated by increased insurance.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation
South Asia is world's most climate-vulnerable region: study
Paris (AFP) Oct 20, 2010
South Asia is the world's most climate-vulnerable region, its fast-growing populations badly exposed to flood, drought, storms and sea-level rise, according to a survey of 170 nations published on Wednesday. Of the 16 countries listed as being at "extreme" risk from climate change over the next 30 years, five are from South Asia, with Bangladesh and India in first and second places, Nepal in ... read more
DHS Conducts Nationwide ID Authentication Test For Emergency Preparedness|
System Would Help Haiti Modify Earthquake-Prone Structures
DLR Becomes A Member Of The International Charter Space And Major Disasters
Seven million still lack shelter after Pakistan floods: UN
Japan and Vietnam to jointly develop rare earth: report
Japan's rare earth minerals may run out by March: govt
Apple, Blackberry spar over smartphone sales, tablets
Preliminary Design for New Long-Range Surveillance Radar Completed
US says 96 percent of Gulf of Mexico open to fishing
Palestinians urge water strategy
US commits 275 mln dlrs to improve Jordan water
Climate Change May Alter Natural Climate Cycles Of Pacific
Susitna Glacier, Alaska
US warns of record Arctic warming
UBC Underwater Robot To Explore Ice-Covered Ocean And Antarctic Ice Shelf
Crew circles North Pole in one summer
Chinese blogger creates Google maps of violent land grabs
Human Activities Overload Ecosystems With Nitrogen
Philippines, Norway vaults play key roles in rice diversity
Farmland the size of Italy lost each year: UN report
Tropical storm strengthens on path to hit Central America
Strong cyclone strikes western Myanmar
Benin floods affect 680,000: UN
Myanmar cyclone leaves at least one dead, thousands affected
Chinese suspect granted bail in Namibia graft case
Rwanda, China boost military ties
Zambia president defends China after mine shooting
Chinese bosses 'mistakenly' shot Zambia protesters: Beijing
How Genes Are Selectively Silenced
Study predicts women in power, Muslims heading West
Baby born from embryo frozen 19 years
'Missing link' fossil debated by science
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|