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Economists: Climate change will cost N.C. billions

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RALEIGH (AP) -- Economists predict that global warming could cost North Carolina billions of dollars.

Ben Poulter of the Department of Global Change and Natural Systems at the Potsdam Institute in Germany says coastal North Carolina has been identified as one of the United States' most vulnerable regions to climate change.

A report by the institute and three North Carolina universities has another dire warning. It says the low-lying coastline will be especially prone to hurricanes and erosion if ocean levels rise as projected between one foot and three feet over the next 25 to 75 years. The result would be more destructive hurricanes that will cause billions of dollars of damage to private property.

Report projections say that by 2080, each hurricane could cause $157 million dollars in damage. Researchers also expect the changing climate to affect coastal industries such as recreational fishing and beach tourism.

Report: <a href="http://econ.appstate.edu/climate/" target="_blank">http://econ.appstate.edu/climate/</a>

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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