New and hot in climate alarmism: The $43 trillion permafrost thaw

New and hot in climate alarmism: The $43 trillion permafrost thaw
Permafrost melts off Siberia, potentially releasing ancient viruses. (Image: Aron Stubbins via American Geophysical Union)

[Ed. – The numbers here are hilarious.  It’s mind-blowingly idiotic to suggest that “costs” can be estimated in this way, for a period up to 185 years into the future.  (Interestingly, if the total $369 trillion in “climate change costs” by 2200 is averaged over the next 185 years, it comes to $2 trillion per year.  Nominal gross world product in 2014 was about $77 trillion.  And why not work off such simplistic comparisons?  It’s not like the alarmists are doing anything more sophisticated.)  The “broccoli in the freezer” simile is a nice touch, at any rate.]

Now consider this: If the world’s permafrost thaws, as a new study warns, humanity could be saddled with a bill that adds more than $43 trillion to the already massive climate-related debt the world will rack up in the next two centuries.

$43,000,000,000,000.

You can do the math yourself, but that’s more than two-and-a-half times America’s GDP and an economic death sentence “beyond conception,” says Kevin Schaefer, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center and one of the authors of the report. …

Schaefer and co-author Chris Hope, a public policy expert at the University of Cambridge, find that unchecked global warming could thaw this band of ground and cause 10,000 years’ worth of trapped organic matter to decompose. This decomposition could easily double the amount of greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, Schaefer said.

“This frozen carbon is like broccoli in your freezer: If you thaw it out and put it in your fridge it’ll eventually decay and go bad,” he said.

That decay and the resulting methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will exacerbate climate change at a cost of $43 trillion by 2200, the authors estimate. The costs associated with climate change range from the relatively small, such as the additional expense of more air conditioning, to the much more dramatic, like the loss of agricultural crops to drought and the destruction of cities from rising sea levels.

Schaefer and Hope estimate that without the permafrost thaw, the cost of climate change will be $326 trillion by 2200. The extra $43 trillion would constitute a 13 percent increase — a substantial amount, especially given that no one really considered the frozen ground as a carbon sink until about 10 years ago.

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