This is no small thing considering billions have to be fed. Global warming could yield $11.6 trillion in increased crop production
The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change found that while many studies focus on the costs of rising carbon emissions, few studies focused on whether or not more carbon in the atmosphere could be beneficial to society.Posted by Jill Fallon at October 23, 2013 5:00 PM | Permalink
In fact, the Obama administration recently raised its social-cost-of-carbon estimate from $21 per metric ton to $35 per metric ton to the ire of global warming skeptics and Republicans. The estimate reflects how much each ton of carbon emitted costs the U.S. economy.
The number was disputed by economists who argue that there is “little science” behind the estimate and it is politically malleable.
The center’s study focused on benefits to global food production because higher carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been shown to stimulate plant productivity and growth, as well as increasing plant’s water conserving and stress-alleviating abilities.
“The results indicate that the annual total monetary value of this benefit grew from about $20 billion in 1961 to over $160 billion by 2011, amounting to a total sum of $3.5 trillion over the 50-year period 1961-2011,” reads the study. “Projecting the monetary value of this positive externality forward in time reveals it will likely bestow an additional $11.6 trillion on crop production between now and 2050.”
“It is clear from the material presented in this report that the modern rise in the air’s CO2 content is providing a tremendous economic benefit to global crop production,” the study adds.