Climate Change Could Cost U.S. $12-Billion

The rising sea level isn't something that's going to happen it already is happening. David Yoskowitz co-authored the report. He's a professor at the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

"What we've seen over the last hundred years in the Galveston Bay region it's already increased by point-6-9 meters."

If that same rate continues for the next hundred years and the area is hit with a major hurricane it would suffer greater losses than last year.

"What we would see is one-point-seven billion dollars more worth of damage."

But Yoskowitz says, because the human effects on climate change have increased in recent decades, sea levels could increase one-point-five meters and that too would hit the area hard.

"We'd have almost a hundred thousand households displaced as a result of that rise and about $12-billion worth of infrastructure damage."

Yoskowitz says area leaders must begin to consider the consequences.

"We're talking about significant displacement of populations, impact on business. We're talking about having to relocate public infrastructure; roads, electric lines, waste sites, water treatment plants. These are very real costs that the counties and the cities are going to have to take into account for the future."

Yoskowitz will present his report tomorrow at the Texas General Land Office's 2009 Conference called "Caring for the Coast" at the Galveston Island Convention Center.

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