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How Much Climate Change Would Cost the World by 2050

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
Aerial view of coal power plant high pipes with black smoke moving up polluting atmosphere at sunset.
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A study recently published in the journal Nature by researchers at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research in Germany highlights the profound effect of climate change on the world and suggests that it could extend until 2050.

According to the report, climate change will cause a significant 19% average reduction in income across countries by 2050.

The study reveals that the size of the income reduction depends on the amount of emissions generated by different regions around the world.

The data indicates that the countries situated in South America and Africa emit the least greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As a result, they are also associated with the lowest income levels compared to other countries.

How is the World Affected? 

Climate change has an important adverse effect: greenhouse gas emissions cause the planet to become warmer than it previously was.

Also read: US States are Substituting Gas Furnaces for Heat Pumps


Research shows that the Earth's temperature has increased by at least 1.1 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial era, which occurred between 1850 and 1900. In addition to warming the planet, climate change has significant economic impacts.

The study indicates that the earth is predicted to undergo economic losses exceeding $38 trillion (in 2005 international dollars) by 2049. However, the estimated financial impact varies between $19 trillion to $59 trillion.


Factory pipes emitting CO2
Photo | Kouji Tsuru/Unsplash


It's essential to note that these damages are six times higher than the cost of measures that could help keep the planet's temperature below two °C above the pre-industrial average by 2050.

The authors of this study put in a great deal of effort to bring it to fruition. They analyzed climate and income data from 1,600 regions, and it took them approximately 40 years to forecast the effects of precipitation and temperature variations.

Also read: Greenland Wasn't Always an Icy Desert, Scientists Uncover Shocking Facts


One of the study's primary aims was the “changing daily temperature variability, total annual precipitation, the annual number of wet days and extreme daily rainfall that occur in addition to those already identified from changing average temperature.”

Cost of Mitigating Climate Change Skyrockets 

As per the report's authors, mitigating climate change is expected to become exceedingly expensive by 2050 due to various factors.

Their estimates suggest that it would cost a staggering $6 trillion to carry out climate change mitigation efforts up until then.

“Our simple comparison of their magnitudes makes it clear that damages are actually already considerably larger than mitigation costs, and the delayed emergence of net mitigation benefits results primarily from the fact that damages across different emission paths are indistinguishable until mid-century,” the study said.

Furthermore, the authors of the study were quick to note that the impact and damage costs of climate change might vary according to different SSPs. However, they are also quick to point out that it would be imperative and beneficial for humans to start making efforts to slow down climate degradation.

“Moreover, climate models seem to underestimate future changes in temperature variability and extreme precipitation in response to anthropogenic forcing as compared with that observed historically, suggesting that the true impacts from these variables may be larger,” the study added.