Saturday, November 9, 2019

Climate News--More Negative Surprises

Two articles came out today that  paint a increasingly negative outlook. One by the NY Times about how scientists have grossly underestimated climate change and the other a CBS report on the Federal Reserve report on how the mortgage market could implode because of climate change.

How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong

Tells how scientists grossly underestimated climate change and what would have been considered fringe science is now the norm. Here are some quotes:
Had a scientist in the early 1990s suggested that within 25 years a single heat wave would measurably raise sea levels, at an estimated two one-hundredths of an inch, bake the Arctic and produce Sahara-like temperatures in Paris and Berlin, the prediction would have been dismissed as alarmist. But many worst-case scenarios from that time are now realities.
Were the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica to melt, sea levels would rise by an estimated 225 feet worldwide. Few expect that to happen anytime soon. But those ice sheets now look a lot more fragile than they did to the climate change panel in 1995, when it said that little change was expected over the next hundred years.In the years since, data has shown that both Greenland and Antarctica have been shedding ice far more rapidly than anticipated. Ice shelves, which are floating extensions of land ice, hold back glaciers from sliding into the sea and eventually melting. In the early 2000s, ice shelves began disintegrating in several parts of Antarctica, and scientists realized that process could greatly accelerate the demise of the vastly larger ice sheets themselves. And some major glaciers are dumping ice directly into the ocean.
Even if scientists end up having lowballed their latest assessments of the consequences of the greenhouse gases we continue to emit into the atmosphere, their predictions are dire enough. But the Trump administration has made its posture toward climate change abundantly clear: Bring it on!
It’s already here. And it is going to get worse. A lot worse.

Climate change could end mortgages as we know them

Reporting on the Federal Reserve recent report on climate change's effect on the mortgage   market CBS said:
Climate change could punch a hole through the financial system by making 30-year home mortgages — the lifeblood of the American housing market — effectively unobtainable in entire regions across parts of the U.S.  That's what the future could look like without policy to address climate change, according to the latest research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. The bank is considering these and other risks on Friday in an unprecedented conference on the economics of climate change.
Once lenders and housing investors do start pricing in such risks, "There may be a threat to the availability of the 30-year mortgage in various vulnerable and highly exposed areas," Berman wrote in a recent San Francisco Fed report. He predicts lenders could "blue-line" entire regions where flood risks are high — a reference to redlining, the practice of refusing mortgages to minorities. The result: Entire neighborhoods would empty out, leaving cities unable to shore up their crumbling roads and bridges just as severe weather events become more extreme and more frequent. Home values would fall, potentially depleting the budgets of counties and states. 
Lower real estate prices also drag down counties and cities. Because local budgets are reliant on property taxes, even a small drop in home prices can make it harder for a locality to provide basic services, like fixing roads and paying for public education."There is a real possibility that real estate values will be decreasing… just as the real estate tax base is being relied on for funding of new flood mitigation infrastructure," Berman wrote.
That's why many who study this issue are calling for governments to plan for what they call the inevitable retreat.Said Cleetus: "My biggest fear, honestly, is that the markets will get out ahead of our policies, and we see a situation where property values do start to decline, and small communities that rely on a lot of property tax revenue won't be able to deal with it."
in other words, the same way inner cities where hollowed out and made ghetto's because of redlining the same could be done to large swaths of America close to the coast, in hot zones and the like.

The conclusion is clears. The news for climate change will continue to get worse, that even the more dire forecasts. Secondly, impact of climate change will continue to morph and affects us in ways previously unimagined.

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