An economics group is putting a dollar value on climate change in Illinois. It’s not a firm dollar amount. For the period from 2020-2039, it ranges from a potential benefit of $1.1 billion per year, to a decline of $2.6 billion, with an outside shot at $3.4 billion decline, according to the group Risky Business.
Director Kate Gordon says the impact will be felt in agriculture, as corn, soybeans and wheat are heat-sensitive, in manufacturing, and in the electricity business.
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Corn and soybean yield reductions are projected at 18 to 24 percent over the next 25 years, as summers become hotter and rain becomes more extreme-periods of drought followed by severe storms. From 1981-2010, most of Illinois averaged three days about 95 degrees. By 2040, we’ll be seeing 22 to 77 such days. Colder climate places such as Minnesota and Canada could benefit from warming, as less energy would be needed for heat and farmers could double-crop. Also impacted would be water levels in the rivers, which would affect their navigability.