The study shows that climate change-driven heatwaves have cost the global economy $16 trillion (£14 trillion) since the 1990s.
This is due to the impact of high temperatures on human health, productivity and agricultural production.
It also showed that the poorest countries in the world with the lowest carbon emissions suffered the biggest economic blows, for example in the tropics.
Researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, USA, combined economic data with average temperatures for the five hottest days for each region of the world.
They found that from 1992 to 2013, heatwaves generally coincided with changes in economic growth that differed between high- and low-income regions.
“Global events such as the Covid pandemic have exposed the close relationship between the supply chain and the global economy,” said chief miner Justin Mankin, assistant professor of geography. “Low-income countries have a disproportionate amount of outdoor workers who often produce critical raw materials. materials. There is certainly potential for escalation in the global supply chain.”
The researchers say their work is one of the first to look specifically at how heat waves affect economic outcomes.
“The real costs of climate change are much higher than we have calculated so far,” said Dr. Mankin.
Previous research has tended to focus on higher-income regions where economic and climate data are more reliable. Heatwaves have also been ranked among other extreme events associated with climate change, such as increased frequency of flooding and increased storms.
However, heatwaves are unique in that they refer to the temperature of the hottest days of the year rather than the global mean temperature.
The former are expected to grow much faster than the latter as human activities continue to cause climate change.
A modeling analysis that was published in Scientific achievementsboth the mean annual temperature and data from the five hottest days of the year.
This allowed them to interact in assessing the impact of heat waves on production volumes.
“Heatwaves are one of the most direct and tangible impacts of climate change that people experience, yet they are not fully accounted for in our estimates of the cost and future costs of climate change,” said lead author and doctoral student Christopher Callahan.
The study found that extreme heat caused cumulative economic losses ranging from $5 trillion (4.3 trillion pounds) to $29.3 trillion (25.3 trillion pounds) worldwide from 1992 to 2013.
Economic losses from extreme heat also turned out to be lower for wealthier countries.
Over the 21-year study period, the highest income decimals lost an average of 1.5 percent of GDP per capita due to heat waves.
This included locations in the United States, Canada, and parts of Europe.
For regions with lower decimal incomes, such as parts of Brazil and Mali, this figure was 6.7% of GDP per capita.
“Our work shows that nowhere is there adequate adaptation to our current climate. This is a massive transfer of international wealth from the world’s poorest countries to the richest as a result of climate change, and this shift needs to be reversed,” Mankin said.
The researchers say their study highlights that the economic impacts of climate change and the costs of adaptation are being borne by the world’s poorest countries in the tropics and global south.
Most of these countries have also contributed the least to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.
The researchers said there is an urgent need for policies and technologies that protect people during the hottest days of the year, especially in low-income areas.
They say their results show that the world’s major emitters must pay most of the bill for adapting to heat extremes.
They wrote that “targeting resources for thermoplasticity and early warning capabilities for just a few days a year could result in disproportionate economic benefits.”
This should be in addition to helping them develop low-emission economies that will benefit rich and developing countries alike.
Source: Daily Mail