5 Lesser Known Industry Costs of Climate Change


There’s a lot of obvious costs of climate change — you know, like making the Earth uninhabitable. Some of the lesser known costs to industry can be quantified and the University of Maryland’s Center for Integrative Environmental Research put out a report recently looking into some of these economic effects. Here’s 5 economic losses to different industries that we pulled from the report that might convince the business sector that we really need all these clean technology innovations. Mind you, these are only a fraction of the financial effects:

  • Sad sap: In the Northeast, the maple sugar industry – a $31 million industry – is expected to suffer losses of between 15 and 40% ($5-12 million) in annual revenue due to decreased sap flow.
  • Beetle outbreak: The outbreak of spruce bark beetles in Alaska could cause a 50% loss of harvestable timber, resulting in a $332 million annual loss (less than one-tenth of gross state product). The spread of Southern Pine beetles has affected sawtimber and pulpwood production in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and the Carolinias, resulting in average annual losses of over 1% of gross state product.
  • Slushie skiing: The Northeast can also expect a decrease of 10-20% in skiing days, resulting in a loss of $405-810 million per year.
  • Sensitive cows: Dairy cows’ productivity starts decreasing above 77°F (25°C), and in California alone, an annual loss of $287-902 million is expected for this industry.
  • Agriculture Cut: New York State’s agricultural yield may be reduced by as much as 40%, resulting in $1.2 billion in annual damages. Water shortages in California’s Central Valley could lead to $6 billion in annual losses during dry years. Agriculture surrounding San Antonio Texas Edwards Aquifer could reach losses of $3.6-6.5 billion by 2030 and $6.75-10.13 billion by 2090.



Huh, that’s a lot of losses. I’m stunned by the variety of industries that will be affected. Some things, like the skiing industry you might expect but gosh, I never thought of it. Wow! Thanks for sharing.

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