In a world impacted by climate change, southern states will likely suffer the most, when compared to the rest of the US. That’s the conclusion of a new study, recently published in the journal Science and reported on by the New York Times.
The study found that while climbing temperatures, extreme weather events, and rising sea levels will impact the entire country, the effects of climate change will not be distributed equally.
“The worst-hit counties — mainly in states that already have warm climates, like Arizona or Texas — could see losses worth 10 to 20 percent of GDP or more if emissions continue to rise unchecked,” reported the New York Times.
These economic losses would come from heat wave-related deaths, a reduction in outdoor work days due the heat, and an increase in electricity costs because of heightened air conditioning use.
“If communities do not take preventative measures, the projected increase in heat-related deaths by the end of this century would be roughly equivalent to the number of Americans killed annually in auto accidents,” reported the New York Times.
The study also predicts that unless policy changes are made, climate change will only exacerbate economic inequality in this country, hitting poorer regions the hardest.