SAN DIEGO -- Forests decimated by drought and wildfire from Montana to California. Homes blasted by hurricanes and flooding from North Carolina to Texas.
Climate change, according to scientists, is already fueling natural disasters across the United States, causing billions of dollars worth of devastation.
Now a new report from UC San Diego and the Brookings Institution predicts the states that could suffer the harshest economic toll from global warming are those that voted for President Donald Trump and other conservative politicians opposed to reining in greenhouse gases.
"The damages to the Republican-electing congressional districts is almost double what it is for the Democratic-voting districts," said David Victor, a researcher at UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy and a prominent contributor to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
"The political alignment around climate impacts is almost the exact opposite of the political alignment around emissions control," he added.
A number of red states, such as Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama, could see their economies slashed by more than 10 percent by the end of the century, with some regions seeing impacts over 20 percent, if the planet continues to warm unabated, the study found. Many left-leaning states, such as Illinois and California, are predicted to suffer losses under 5 percent.
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Factors include everything from energy costs to agricultural yields to coastal damage to working conditions and heat-related mortality.
"When you look at the out years, all of these factors have an impact on what people care about, but the really dominant effect is mortality," Victor said. "Literally, there'll be climate change killing people."
Still, the country may be able to adapt to such impacts better than researchers can currently foresee. The paper recognizes this shortcoming, saying the findings are "less of a forecast than a representation of a world where previously observed relationship continue to hold."
The data also found that some regions, including San Diego, may see a financial boost from climate change in coming decades. Warming is expected to particularly benefit northern parts of the country, expanding growing seasons and curbing energy consumption.