MIT Study Finds That Curbing Carbon Emissions Will Reduce Droughts And Save Billions

220px-Factory_in_ChinaEconomist Brent Boehlert and his colleagues at MIT have issued a new report showing that curbing carbon emissions would represent a huge benefit for agriculture and the nation as a whole by reducing the frequency and severity of future crop-parching droughts and saving American farmers billions of dollars annually by 2100. The study is found in the July issue of Weather, Climate and Society. The study is interesting because the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change has been focused on the hard science side of academia. This is a group of economists who are adding an economic analysis supporting emission curbs.

The study estimates that large-scale climate action would save farmers about $980 million annually by 2050 while more modest cuts would net savings of around $390 million annually. The two scenarios would keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations below 500 and 600 parts per million, respectively, compared with 1,750 ppm without mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Droughts currently cost the United States between $6 billion and $8 billion a year. They are expected to grow worse in the absence of aggressive climate change action, particularly in other countries. The study found an overall benefit of $2.2 billion a year to U.S. agriculture from aggressive carbon emission reductions.

Source: Science News

119 thoughts on “MIT Study Finds That Curbing Carbon Emissions Will Reduce Droughts And Save Billions”

  1. Paul – 😛

    I think California is tackling the problem of ‘we aren’t self destructing fast enough’.

    1. Steg – think about the train they are building and then ask yourself if they are serious about solving a problem.

  2. The discipline of economics is a pseudo-science based on sophistry.

    Earth’s current atmospheric concentration of CO2 is roughly 400 parts per million measured in volume.

    96% of all CO2 present in Earth’s atmosphere is naturally occurring.

    CO2 is a prerequisite for human life it is not a pollutant it is plant food and without CO2 plants, trees, blue-green algae (etal) wouldn’t be able to conduct the process known as photosynthesis and create the waste product of O2 for humans (and other organisms) to breathe and thus live.

    It is a complete travesty that the powers that be have been able to bamboozle a great many scientifically illiterate people (or those willing to be lead astray) into believing the impossible that humans are responsible for climate change on Earth when in reality there are many environmental issues that can be solved if we would only apply ourselves to the task(s).

    If the climate modelling results do not match real world observations: should we trash the models and start over or simply bury our heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend?

    PS Earths entire atmosphere is completely comprised of greenhouse gases (H2O, O2, CO2, N2, Ar, CH4, He, Ne) without which we humans would not be here. For more research Greenhouse Effect.

  3. So this is supposed to good for farmers. However, the pest and herbicides over-used on GMO crops and others are very likely damaging a major carbon sequesterer–the soil microbiome. Not a peep about this, though, because it is too complex for the climate models. Is there any research anyway or is Monsanto blocking publication?

    What about the destruction of wetlands and how that contributes to drought? It is farmers and developers who drain, plow, or build upon them–no one easy to target like cutting emissions.

  4. In California, they are experimenting with using plastic balls on the surface of a reservoir in an attempt to reduce surface loss due to natural evaporation processes. I only question their color choices… and not because I’m gay. Notice in the article that these balls are black. The darker the color, the more intense the heat becomes on the surface through absorption. Shouldn’t they be white, knowing that white reflects radiation generated heat? I’d like to see the ‘science’ on the differences, if any…

    This Graphic Shows How Plastic Balls Are Saving L.A. From Drought

  5. pin
    Any time one of our bases are targeted, we should be concerned…
    … Especially when it is an American that targets the base.

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