The Stream, April 5: Climate Change Will Have Dire Consequences For Economy, Health, Studies Find

The Global Rundown

A pair of studies released Monday sounded dire warnings about the effects of climate change on global financial assets and public health. The Pacific island of Palau could completely run out of water by the end of the month, while a drought in Tasmania may necessitate electricity rationing. Floods and landslides in Pakistan have killed dozens of people. Indonesia plans to “re-wet” millions of hectares of peatland to prevent fires. California reduced water usage by nearly a quarter over the past nine months.

“This isn’t just about glaciers and polar bears, it’s about the health of our families and kids.” –Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on a White House report that predicted thousands more Americans could die each year by the end of the century because of climate change. The report says deadly heatwaves, waterborne diseases, and natural disasters will all become more likely and severe. (Bloomberg)

By The Numbers

2-3 weeks Amount of time before the Pacific island of Palau is expected to run completely out of water due to an El Nino-linked drought. AFP

55 people Number who have died in floods and landslides that hit northwestern Pakistan over the weekend. Thousands more are stranded. AFP

2 million hectares Area of drained or damaged peatland that Indonesia plans to “re-wet” in an effort to prevent massive, polluting fires. There are doubts, however, that the new Peatlands Restoration Agency will be able to complete the task. Reuters

24 percent Decline in water use in California between June 2015 and February 2016 as residents and businesses responded to the state’s first ever mandatory water cuts. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

Global financial assets could lose $2.5 trillion in value if action is not taken to stop climate change, according to a study led by researchers at the London School of Economics. There is also a 1 percent chance that losses could total $24 trillion. While efforts to reduce carbon emissions will help reduce losses, “there is no scenario in which the risk to financial assets are unaffected by climate change,” the lead author said. Guardian

On The Radar

Tasmania may need to start rationing electricity as hydropower reserves fall and a transmission line linking it to mainland Australia remains broken. Water levels in Tasmania’s dams are currently 13.6 percent of capacity. Australian Associated Press

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