El Niño is getting stronger. That could cost the global economy trillions.

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Most of the losses were felt by nations in closer proximity to the phenomenon, which are often developing or lower income. “We know El Niño is costly. We are showing that these costs are far greater than we understood them to be previously,” said Mankin.

The study’s loss estimate for the 1997-98 El Niño, for example, was sometimes 100 times higher than

previous estimates that did not account for cumulative losses in following years.. Callahan said that places like the United States also feel a “discernible” economic toll, experiencing about a 3 percent loss in income growth following the 1982-83 and 1997-98 events.

Advertisement The team also projected what the economic toll of future El Niño events could look like under various global warming scenarios. Using a middle-of-the-road climate model (depicting not the worst case scenario but not the best either), they calculated about an $84 trillion loss from 2020 to 2099 even if current greenhouse gas pledges are met. That amount is estimated to be about a 1 percent reduction in global economic output over the 21st century, but certain countries could experience higher costs and losses. headtopics.com

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