In this Jan. 8, 2018 photo, a couple walks along the Airport Dike Trail as the evening light shines on Mt. McGinnis, left, and Stroller White Mountain. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this Jan. 8, 2018 photo, a couple walks along the Airport Dike Trail as the evening light shines on Mt. McGinnis, left, and Stroller White Mountain. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Warmer temperatures could cost Alaska up to $700 million

The effects of climate change could be costly.

ANCHORAGE — The effects of climate change could cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars per year in the coming decades, according to a new study.

The Institute of Social and Economic Research at the University of Alaska Anchorage has projected that the warmer climate could cause the state a net loss of $340 million to $700 million per year, the Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday.

The report published by the institute in November focuses on the net costs of five widely reported effects over the next 30 to 50 years. The projections are based on the state’s annual average temperatures rising by 1 to 2 degrees Celsius by 2050.

[December was warm, dry until Pineapple Express]

The economic effects would not be distributed evenly across the state “as rural communities face large projected costs while more southerly urban residents experience net gain,” the report states.

A major part of the overall cost is from infrastructure damage caused by thawing permafrost and coastal erosion, accounting for an expected $250 million to $420 million per year.

[Opinion: Dunleavy leaves Alaskans in a ditch over climate change]

An additional $110 million to $270 million is expected to be needed annually to maintain certain parts of Alaska’s infrastructure, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment by the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

The state’s current erosion problems, particularly along the western coast, are likely to get worse, according to the report.

[Alaska judge dismisses youth climate lawsuit]

“Longer sea ice-free seasons, higher ground temperatures, and relative sea level rise are expected to exacerbate flooding and accelerate erosion in many regions, leading to the loss of terrestrial habitat in the future and in some cases requiring entire communities or portions of communities to relocate to safer terrain,” the reports states.


• This is an Associated Press report.


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Sept. 25

Here’s what to expect this week.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
Faith Rogers’ loved ones, from left to right, James Rogers (father), Michelle Rogers (sister), Harmony Wentz (daughter), Maria Rogers (mother) and Mindy Voigt (friend) sit with Faith’s three dogs in their family home. Faith Rogers, 55, of Juneau was found dead along a popular trail on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Police are investigating the death as a homicide.
‘It’s shocking’: Family hopes for answers after suspicious death of loved one

“She wanted to make things beautiful, to help make people beautiful…”

People work together to raise the Xa’Kooch story pole, which commemorates the Battle of the Inian Islands. (Shaelene Grace Moler / For the Capital City Weekly)
Resilient Peoples & Place: The Xa’Kooch story pole — one step toward a journey of healing

“This pole is for the Chookaneidi, but here among us, many clans are represented…”

A bracket fungus exudes guttation drops and a small fly appears to sip one of them.( Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Water drops on plants

Guttation drops contain not only water but also sugars, proteins, and probably minerals.

A chart shows what critics claim is poor financial performance by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, especially in subsidizing private industry projects intended to boost the state’s economy, during its 55-year existence. The chart is part of a report released Tuesday criticizing the agency. (MB Barker/LLC Erickson & Associates/EcoSystems LLC)
AIDEA’s fiscal performance fishy, critics say

Report presented by salmon industry advocates asserts state business subsidy agency cost public $10B

Police vehicles gather Wednesday evening near Kaxdigoowu Héen Dei, also known as ]]Brotherhood Bridge Trail, while investigating a homicide. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Police: Woman was walking dogs when she was killed

JPD said officers are working “around the clock” on the criminal investigation.

In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard Cutter Kimball crew-member observes a foreign vessel in the Bering Sea, Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter on routine patrol in the Bering Sea came across the guided missile cruiser from the People's Republic of China, officials said Monday, Sept. 26.  (U.S. Coast Guard District 17 via AP)
Patrol spots Chinese, Russian naval ships off Alaska island

This wasn’t the first time Chinese naval ships have sailed near Alaska waters.

An Alaska judge has ruled that a state lawmaker affiliated with the Oath Keepers, Rep. David Eastman, shown in this February 2022 photo, may stay on the general election ballot in November even though he's likely ineligible to hold public office  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge keeps Oath Keepers lawmaker on November ballot

Judge ordered delaying certifying the result of the race until a trial scheduled for December.

Water rushes down Front Street, just a half block from the Bering Sea, in Nome, Alaska, on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022 as the remnants of Typhoon Merbok moved into the region. It was a massive storm system — big enough to cover the mainland U.S. from the Pacific Ocean to Nebraska and from Canada to Texas. It influenced weather systems as far away as California, where a rare late-summer storm dropped rain on the northern part of the state, offering a measure of relief to wildfire crews but also complicating fire suppression efforts because of mud and loosened earth. (AP Photo / Peggy Fagerstrom)
Repair work begins in some Alaska towns slammed by storm

ANCHORAGE — There’s been significant damage to some roads and homes in… Continue reading

Most Read