Climate change will have a deadly and expensive impact on regions of the U.S. in the decades to come – though Minnesota, away from coastlines and known for its cold climate, could fare better than most.
This comes from a new study published in the journal Science this week, which estimates the economic damage of climate change in the U.S. through 2099. You can read the full study here, but Buzzfeed News and the New York Times have nice breakdowns.
The general takeaway? If things continue at this rate, southern states will suffer the most serious consequences, in large part because of the heat – they've already got a warm climate, and if temps go up, we could see more deaths due to heat.
That could also lead to more energy usage because of air conditioner use. And it'd be expensive for electric companies to modify infrastructure to cope with that surge. Coastal regions could decline quickly as well.
The heat is less of an immediate health issue in colder climates. But states in the Midwest (such as Minnesota) could face some serious issues in agriculture, with farmers having to react to new temperature ranges.
And that's not to mention possible consequences laid out in other studies, like this one from Minnesota’s Environmental Quality Board, which said we could be dealing with more “mega-rain” events and cases of Lyme disease.
The economic impact
In terms of direct economic damages, counties in southern Minnesota (including the Twin Cities metro area) could see a 0-5 percent decline in gross domestic product – a common way to measure economic output. Elsewhere in the state the economies may not be disrupted at all, and could even benefit with a higher GDP.
Buzzfeed News put together this interactive map, if you want to look at things closer:
The study is the work of 12 researchers from across the country.
Experts who weren't involved told the New York Times a lot of this is estimation work. Some things could deteriorate slower or faster than expected and change these outcomes significantly. Others told Buzzfeed News the study also doesn't fully take into account how people might adapt and change to fit the new climate.