The high cost of climate change: New report says it will cost California billions of dollars, thousands of lives

This article was written by Aaron Orlowski for The Orange County Register The impacts of climate change – heat-related deaths, rising sea levels, higher electricity prices – will cost California thousands of lives and billions of dollars in the next century, according to a new report.

In Orange County and Southern California as a whole, rising sea levels will damage coastal property and infrastructure while hotter temperatures jack up electricity costs as homeowners and office managers crank up the air conditioning. Statewide, hotter temperatures will worsen the drought while damaging crop yields.

Sea levels will rise 2 to 3 feet in Orange County by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated, the report said. Sea level will rise different amounts in different parts of the state because of varying geology and tectonic shifts – in some places the land is rising almost as fast as sea level.

California is on track to lose $8 billion to $10 billion of coastal property that will be underwater by midcentury, according to the report, released Thursday. An additional $20 billion will be at risk during high tide.

By the end of the century, $19 billion of property will be underwater...