Brazil will pay high price for climate change

November 26, 2009

Storm over São Paulo/Fabiano (LycoSp)/Flickr

Brazil will lose between US$ 417 billion (in an optimist scenario) and US$ 2 trillion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year by 2050 thanks to global warming. This means, in the worst scenario, the GDP might be reduced in 2.3% by the middle of the century. This is one of the scary conclusions of a report just released by several Brazilian universities and the main specialists in climate and agriculture of the country. They worked for two years in a document that evaluates the possible impacts of the raising temperatures and climate instability. “It is like wasting a whole year of growth during the next 40 years”, says the study.

Among their main conclusions:

  • The temperature may rise 8°C (46.4°F) by 2100 in the Amazon region and it may undergo a radical transformation, becoming more like a savanna. The south, the southeast and the east parts of the basin might lose 40% of their forests.
  • The Northeast of the country (including the states of Bahia and Pernambuco) are also very vulnerable. Agriculture and cattle farming will have important losses because of the lack of rains in a region that is already very arid.
  • The hydro power dams – main responsible for the generation of electricity in the country – will be less reliable.
  • Agriculture shouldn’t have major problems in the southern states (including São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul).
  • Soy, corn and coffee production will have to reduce their cultivated areas (34%, 15% and 18%, respectively), while sugar cane plantations will not decline.
  • When the level of the oceans elevates and the weather gets more violent, the losses along the Brazilian coast should range from US$ 79 billion to US$ 120 billion.

The study stresses that the poorest regions of the country should be the most affected.It also lists a series of measures that could minimize those risks. Among them, incentives to alternative energies and carbon markets; investments in genetically improved plants, adapted to the growing droughts, and in improved irrigation techniques; and coastal management.

Besides the dark conclusions, the study is surprising because of the quality of the organizations involved. From Universidade de São Paulo and Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) to the World Bank and a few non-profits, such as the brilliant Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (Inpa).  It is the final proof that climate change and the environmental matters really are attracting the attention they deserve.



  1. Tou tuitando alguns post seus, Regina. Merecem audiência! bjo

    • Manda ver, Elô. Estou adorando a publicidade!
      E que tal se pensássemos num projeto conjunto? Eu pensei no seguinte: pegamos um tema que as duas curtem. Estabelecemos um dia e hora para postarmos e uma linka para a outra – são dois comentários diferentes sobre um mesmo tema brasileiro. E aí, interessa? Vi um tempo atrás um blog visual que era assim. Diariamente, dois amigos produziam duas fotos, independentemente, e elas são publicadas lado a lado. As convergências eram muito interessantes.

  2. […] Scharf presents Brazil will pay high price for climate change « DEEP BRAZIL posted at DEEP […]

  3. Pure propaganda. It needs to be noted that the predicted (and questionable) planetary temperature rise refers mainly to elevation of daily low temperatures, not the daily highs.

    • Sorry, but I disagree. It is not propaganda. Thousands of the best climate specialists have been gathering information that proofs climate change. The IPCC has very high credentials. I have been following this topic since the 80s and I have absolutely no doubts.

  4. […] lose R$ 7.4 billion in 2020 due to the impact of global change over the production of grains (I wrote recently about this […]

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