Effect of temperature on economic production

“A hotter world is a more unequal world, with the north benefiting and tropical economies declining,” the Nature study authors say. “A cooler world leads to more equitable global growth, offering regions like Africa the chance to ‘catch up’: a research team member said. Anticipating however the effects of such chance on the MENA would have to be looked at the earliest.


According to a study that was published, Thursday 22 October, the online science journal “Nature”, there would be a temperature beyond which economic activity declines.

The authors of this study – researchers at the American universities of Stanford and Berkeley – stress the fact that there is some correlation between temperature fluctuations and the evolution of the Gross Domestic Product, and accordingly the ideal temperature is found to be 13 ° C.  [ms-protect-content]

Above it, it is too hot and work tend to be less and less attended to and health declines and below it, it is too cold. 

Of course, this ideal economic temperature does strongly disadvantage not only the countries of the South, but also all those countries that have too cold a weather as well. 

On the other hand, countries with temperate climate, such as those of Europe generally, but particularly those of the north, fare much better with average temperatures around that ideal temperature.  Countries of the MENA which obviously not positioned in that of the world with a naturally clement weather owes to itself as well as to the rest of the world and anticipate the effects of such chance on these countries from the Atlantic to the Gulf would have to be looked at the earliest.

This study is somewhat timely in the context of the preparatory proceedings of the climate conference (COP 21) to be held in Paris at the end of the year.  

Because the global warming “phenomenon” is proven to be causing a rise in the global average temperature and if it continues apace, it is believed that 77% of countries of the world will know by the end of the century more reduced economic growth, therefore per capita income gap will continue to increase.  It is as if global warming ‘is essentially a massive transfer of value from the hot parts of the world to the cooler parts of the world,’ says a UC Berkeley researcher.

For the authors of the study, the average income will decrease thus 75% in 40% of the poorest countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

They (the authors) explain that their findings should be borne in mind in the upcoming UN-brokered climate talks in Paris.  They also caution against relying on adaptation as a solution or strategy to deal with the climate catastrophe, noting that we have not done in the past 50 years, why should we be optimistic about the next 50 years.”

Instead, it is mitigation, and how to do and pay for it, that should be at the forefront of discussions in Paris.COP 21 1

“Our research is important for COP21 because it suggests that these economic damages could be much larger than current estimates indicate,” a researcher was quoted as saying.  “What that means for policy is that we should be willing to spend a lot more on mitigation than we would otherwise.  The benefits of action on mitigation are much greater than we thought, because the costs of inaction are much greater than we thought.”

Here is below an excerpt of the report.  This report is accompanied by graphs and charts that are absolutely necessary for the good comprehension of the subject.

Global non-linear Effect of temperature on economic production

By Marshall Burke, Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel

Published by Nature 

Growing evidence demonstrates that climatic conditions can have a profound impact on the functioning of modern human societies, but effects on economic activity appear inconsistent.  Fundamental productive elements of modern economies, such as workers and crops, exhibit highly non-linear responses to local temperature even in wealthy countries.  In contrast, aggregate macroeconomic productivity of entire wealthy countries is reported not to respond to temperature5, while poor countries respond only linearly.  Resolving this conflict between micro and macro observations is critical to understanding the role of wealth in coupled human–natural systems and to anticipating the global impact of climate change.  Here we unify these seemingly contradictory results by accounting for non-linearity at the macro scale.  We show that overall economic productivity is non-linear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13°C and declining strongly at higher temperatures.  The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries.  These results provide the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled to the global climate and establish a new empirical foundation for modelling economic loss in response to climate change, with important implications.  If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change.  In contrast to prior estimates, expected global losses are approximately linear in global mean temperature, with median losses many times larger than leading models indicate. [/ms-protect-content]

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