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Posted Sun Mar 7 2010: from Bard College, via Reuters and DesdemonaDespair:
Arctic melt to cost up to $24 trillion by 2050: report
Arctic ice melting could cost global agriculture, real estate and insurance anywhere from $2.4 trillion to $24 trillion by 2050 in damage from rising sea levels, floods and heat waves, according to a report released on Friday.... "The Arctic is the planet's air conditioner and it's starting to break down," he said. The loss of Arctic Sea ice and snow cover is already costing the world about $61 billion to $371 billion annually from costs associated with heat waves, flooding and other factors, the report said. The losses could grow as a warmer Arctic unlocks vast stores of methane in the permafrost. The gas has about 21 times the global warming impact of carbon dioxide. Melting of Arctic sea ice is already triggering a feedback of more warming as dark water revealed by the receding ice absorbs more of the sun's energy, he said. That could lead to more melting of glaciers on land and raise global sea levels.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, economic myopia, faster than expected]

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