Way Downstream… (April 4-10, 2019)

     Analysts looking at the effects of changing climate usually talk about threats to property and health. But a new study billed as the first of its kind breaks down costs to businesses.

     The research article in Science Advances https://bit.ly/2UWpkIm focusing on Annapolis City Dock uses a host of metrics — including inability for customers to park — to conclude that businesses lost on average 22 percent of their revenue due to high tide flooding in 2017. That amounts to between $86,000 and $172,000 each.

     Perhaps even more sobering, the study described City Dock as a flooding “hot spot” on the Atlantic Coast, experiencing sea level rise two to four times greater than the global mean.

     To those climate deniers who cast such warnings as environmental scare tactics, we note that participants in this study include the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Naval Academy’s Oceanography Department.

     The study concluded: “Losses due to recurrent flooding are already affecting the profitability of these businesses, and the losses will worsen as sea level rises unless changes are made.”