Climate change and global warming are hot-button issues these days. Although there is much discussion about how climate change could affect the environment, it’s also important to discuss how it could impact the economy. It might be hard to believe, but temperatures affect nearly every aspect of life from resource management and crop yields, to even mortality.
Based on a study published in the journal Science and reported on Governing.com, GOBankingRates conducted an analysis to estimate how each individual state’s GDP could be affected by global warming through the end of the century. We looked at the three largest counties in each state to assess the average estimated damages — and the results might surprise you.
Most states are expected to see their economy’s shrink as a result of the cost of climate change, but the impact of the environment varies substantially around the country. Take these statistics into account for where you decide to take up residence because they might have a profound effect on your quality of life and the value of your investments over time.
The biggest losers are by far Florida and Texas, each with over $100 billion dollar losses, followed by California, New York, Georgia, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Florida would have over 10 percent in estimated damages to its GDP, followed by Louisiana at 8.9 percent. The warmer coastal climates, particularly in the southeast, would be hit especially hard. And their productivity is already heavily weather dependent and susceptible to hurricanes, rising sea levels and other natural disasters.
Interestingly enough, some states actually benefit from the warmer climates. Using the formula in the GOBankingRates study, five will actually see gains instead of losses. Massachusetts would have the biggest increase at $700 million, followed by Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Rhode Island. Three of the five are northeastern states, which stands to indicate milder temperatures actually increase productivity in regions typically impacted by heavy snowfall and icy conditions.
Here is the estimated change to each state’s GDP based on damages caused by climate change:
New Hampshire: -$641,808,000
New Jersey: -$9,880,983,333
New Mexico: -$4,236,618,000
New York: -$54,659,990,000
North Carolina: -$20,207,328,000
North Dakota: -$779,002,000
Rhode Island: $199,073,333
South Carolina: -$15,198,630,000
South Dakota: -$292,860,000
West Virginia: -$2,071,066,667
Methodology: This article is based on a 2017 study (“Estimating economic damage from climate change in the United States”) published in the journal Science and featured on Governing.com. The study identified the total estimated damages as they relate to the GDP in counties across America. To find out the economic impact of climate change on a state level, GOBankingRates calculated the average of the total estimated damages of the three largest counties in each state.