Climate change could cost Alaska $700 million

    Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) A new report from the University of Alaska Anchorage shows the costs could be anywhere from $340 million to $700 million annually.

    The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported that the projected costs are based on the state's average temperature rising by one to two degrees Celsius by 2050.

    The report said southern areas of the state could experience a net gain while northern areas would suffer economically.

    The biggest costs of climate change, the report said, is thawing permafrost and coastal erosion.  The study projected costs in western areas of the state to be between $250 million and $420 million per year.

    The Fourth National Climate Assessment produced by the U.S. Global Change Research Program said an additional $110 million to $270 million is expected to be needed to maintain certain parts of Alaska's infrastructure.

    The report said 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.

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