5 July 2018   Leave a comment

A new research paper has been published on the the possible rise in sea levels in different global warming scenarios and the economic costs associated with projected sea level increases.  The three scenarios studied are an increase of 1.5ºC, 2ºC, and what is termed the “Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5” (RCP8.5), which is the scenario based upon current projections with absolutely no attempt to limit the release of greenhouse gases.

“We provide global and coastal sea level projections with warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C by 2100. We project global sea flood costs of US$ 10.2 trillion per year (1.8% of GDP) without additional adaptation for sea level projections with warming of 1.5 °C by 2100. Adaptation is a worthwhile investment as costs could decrease to US$ 1.1 trillion per year (0.2% GDP) for the same 1.5 °C scenario in 2100. If warming is not mitigated and follows the RCP8.5 scenario, global mean sea level could rise to 86 cm (median) or even 180 cm (95th percentile) by 2100. This could result in annual sea flood costs of US$ 14 trillion per year and US$ 27 trillion per year respectively if no further adaptation were undertaken and the latter would equate to 2.7% of global GDP.”

The study clearly indicates that active steps to stem the release of greenhouse gases would be far cheaper for the world than the costs of adapting to climate change.  But the further insight of the study is that sea level rises will affect poor countries far more than rich countries, as indicated by the map of sea level rises under the three scenarios.  But a new study, published in PhysOrg, suggests that we may be significantly underestimating the likelihood of extreme climate change:

“A new study based on evidence from past warm periods suggests global warming may be double what is forecast.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-07-global-climate.html#jCp

Sea Change.


Today, Mexico imposed its second round of retaliatory tariffs against the US.  The tariffs are specifically targeted to catch the attention of important political constituencies in the US.  According to Politico:

“Mexico’s decision to impose duties on cheeses, for example, hits House Speaker Paul Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. Wisconsin produces almost one-third of all U.S. cheese. Mexico’s tariffs also hit steel producers in Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence’s state, and motor boat builders in Florida, Sen. Marco Rubio’s state.

“U.S. pork producers are expected to feel the loss even harder, as Mexico increased its tariffs on U.S. pork to 20 percent. Pork producers were already facing 10 percent duties from Mexico’s move to remove NAFTA preferential tariffs for some American products. Mexico bought almost 25 percent of all U.S. pork shipments last year.

“American dairy producers have been vocal critics of Mexico being hit with the tariffs, given that Mexico accounts for about 25 percent of all U.S. dairy exports, and purchased almost $400 million of U.S. cheese last year.”

The move comes as the US, Mexico, and Canada continue to renegotiate the NAFTA Treaty.  It also represents the first contest of will between US President Trump and newly elected Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador who takes office on 1 December.


The Trump Administration has demanded that countries stop importing Iranian oil now that it has pulled out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, and has given the world a deadline of 4 November to comply.  It is highly likely that some nations will not comply and the US will probably grant exceptions to countries like China, India, and Turkey.  But Iran has issued its own ultimatum, essentially saying that if Iranian oil cannot be purchased, then no oil from the Middle East should be available to the world.  The threat is to close the Strait of Hormuz through which 20% of the world passes in oil tankers.  Such a move would almost certainly result in a military conflict between the US and Iran.

Posted July 5, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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