Friday, November 14, 2008

California gets dire warning on global warming

From: Mercury News

Global warming will have a broad and devastating impact on California's economy over the next century, according to a report released Thursday.

Roads and bridges, the water supply, agriculture, public health and even winter skiing all will be affected by global climate change, said the report by University of California-Berkeley agricultural and resource economics professors David Roland-Holst and Fredrich Kahrl.

The report said damage could reach many billions of dollars per year. In real estate alone, up to $2.5 trillion of the state's $4 trillion worth of homes and other buildings are at risk from rising sea levels, wildfires and other extreme weather events occurring as the world gets warmer, it said.

The 127-page report was funded by the nonprofit Next 10 foundation that studies California's future and the intersection of the economy and the environment.

This is the first time a major academic institution has attempted to put a price tag on the potential climate damage in California between now and the year 2100, the researchers said.

In an interview, Roland-Holst said that despite the staggering numbers, he didn't want his research to be seen as a doomsday report.

"It's not Chicken Little. It is a wake-up call," he said. "The estimates at the moment have a lot of uncertainty, but we really have to take this seriously."

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