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Major return on investment from improving climate observations

08 November 2017

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A well-designed climate observing system could help scientists answer knotty questions about climate while delivering trillions of dollars in benefits by providing decision makers information they need to protect public health and the economy in the coming decades, according to a new paper published today.

The flip side is also true, said lead author Elizabeth Weatherhead, a scientist with CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder. The cost of failing to invest in improving our ability to predict and plan for droughts, floods, extreme heat events, famine, sea level rise and changes in freshwater availability could reach hundreds of billions of dollars each year, she and her colleagues wrote. Their paper is published in the current edition of Earth's Future, an online journal of the American Geophysical Union.

Source: CIRES - Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Image credit: CIRES - Invisible swirls of carbon dioxide take on brilliant colours in this NOAA view of the greenhouse gas' emissions and sinks.