Methane gas released from the melting Arctic ice could accelerate global warming and tack on an extra $60 trillion to the cost the world is expected to incur from climate change.
The oil and gas industries have in recent years forecasted profits from easier access to resource fields in the melting Arctic. Northern states have welcomed the trade routes that are emerging from the thick ice’s melt. But those possible boons pale in comparison to the costs that methane emissions from the melting ice will have on the global economy, scientists have found.
The price tag? $60 trillion – or about the size of the entire global economy in 2012 – according to new research that modeled the economic toll that methane gases seeping out of the Arctic will take on the world.
“It's not just bad news for the polar bear,” said Gail Whiteman, a researcher at Erasmus University in the Netherlands and a coauthor on the paper, published in Nature. “It’s a global economic time bomb."
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