Climate Change, New York – A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that global warming could influence fish and other types of natural resources to drift toward the poles. And, in a much broader sense, it could also be responsible for shifting wealth distribution, leaving certain nations worse off than others.
Making an interesting point, the researchers believe that the natural progression is that money will roll right in where fish migrate, particularly in emerging countries. But the reality is that more may be needed on policymakers’ parts, as government officials need to do more than just be aware of biophysical factors, like the changes in fish populations. Basing shifts in wealth on how fish populations increase in one area and decrease in another is too simplistic, the researchers say, and “inclusive wealth” should instead be included as a main variable when determining the impact of shifts.
The researchers stressed that their findings may help track the impact of climate change in terms of local and global sustainability. When so-called “natural capital” shifts as a result of global warming, may it be toward the poles or the mountains, the value of said capital reacts to new pricing that takes social variables into account, on top of biophysical changes.
“People are mostly focused on the physical reallocation of these assets, but I don’t think we’ve really started thinking enough about how climate change can reallocate wealth and influence the prices of those assets,” said lead author Eli Fenichel of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in a press release. “We don’t know how this will unfold, but we do know there will be price effects. It’s just Economics 101—prices reflect quantity and scarcity and natural capital is hard for people to move … It’s as inevitable as the movement of these fish species.”
Fenichel pointed out that although fish were used as an example in his team’s study, the “natural capital” he refers to may also include plants, trees, and other natural resources. He said that “gainers” in terms of natural capital are “clearly better off” in a way that’s much greater than the losers are worse off. “The losers are losing much more than the gainers are gaining,” he continued. “And when that happens, it’s not an efficient reallocation of wealth.”
Sea levels on Earth are rising several times faster than they have in the past 2,800 years and are accelerating because of man-made global warming, according to new studies.
An international team of scientists dug into two dozen locations across the globe to chart gently rising and falling seas over centuries and millennia. Until the 1880s and the world’s industrialization, the fastest seas rose was about 1 to 1.5 inches (3 to 4 centimeters) a century, plus or minus a bit. During that time global sea level really didn’t get much higher or lower than 3 inches above or below the 2,000-year average.
But in the 20th century the world’s seas rose 5.5 inches (14 centimeters). Since 1993 the rate has soared to a foot per century (30 centimeters). And two different studies published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, said by 2100 that the world’s oceans will rise between 11 to 52 inches (28 to 131 centimeters), depending on how much heat-trapping gas Earth’s industries and vehicles expel.