$60 Trillion: New Study Projects the Global Cost of Climate Change
We are sitting on "an economic time bomb."
Yes, you read the headline correctly. A new study published in the journal Nature looks at the potential impact the release of methane gas in the Arctic could have on the global economy over the next decade. The authors call the situation "an economic time bomb."
Large amounts of methane hydrate exists in sediment underneath the Arctic seabed. The study assumes that global temperatures will rise at their current pace. And if they do, the methane hydrate will break down. If the greenhouse gas is released into the atmosphere, it could "speed up sea-ice retreat."
In other words, the price for global inaction: $60 trillion. To put this number in context, the estimated value of the global economy last year was $70 trillion. However, these costs would not be evenly distributed. In fact, the study's model shows that most of the costs would be inflicted on poorer countries.
"The extra methane magnifies flooding of low-lying areas, extreme heat stress, droughts and storms," the authors write.
The study is available for free, and can be read here.
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How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.
- Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
- Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
- As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
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