Won’t Some Warming Benefit Countries that Have a Lot of Cold Weather?

PART OF OUR EDUCATIONAL SERIES 

Some people argue that cold countries are likely to be climate changewinners.” For example, warmer temperatures in Russia could reduce heating fuel consumption, lengthen the agricultural growing season, and open up transportation routes and access to mineral and energy deposits in the Arctic. But these types of analyses inevitably focus on a few simplistic variables, while neglecting a plethora of more complex and likely negative impacts.

Consider the many negative effects of the extreme heat wave Russia experienced in summer 2010. That single event destroyed a third of Russia’s wheat crop, prompting Russia to suspend grain exports, which caused food prices to rise globally. The heat wave killed 15,000 people and shaved $123 billion off Russia’s GDP. Results of a recent peer-reviewed scientific study “suggest that we may be on the cusp of a period in which the probability of such events increases rapidly, due primarily to the influence of projected increases in greenhouse gas concentrations.” If these events do become common in future decades, it is hard to see Russia being a climate-change winner.

Source: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

Website: http://www.c2es.org/science-impacts/basics/faqs/climate-science

This article is part of our educational series on Climate Change. See related articles below.