Climate Change Could Cause Economic Damage

National Journal: “If left un­checked, cli­mate change could worsen the gap between rich and poor coun­tries, ac­cord­ing to a new study.”

“The study, pub­lished Wed­nes­day in the journ­al Nature, found that above a me­di­an ideal tem­per­at­ure, a warm­ing cli­mate stunts eco­nom­ic growth.”

“Over­all, un­mit­ig­ated cli­mate change could shrink the glob­al eco­nomy by 23 per­cent by the end of the cen­tury, based on cur­rent growth in car­bon-di­ox­ide emis­sions.”

“The au­thors looked at World Bank data for 166 coun­tries between 1960 and 2010, com­par­ing it with cli­ma­to­lo­gic­al data, and found that there was an ideal tem­per­at­ure at which coun­tries seemed to be best at eco­nom­ic pro­duc­tion: 13 de­grees Celsi­us, or roughly 55 de­grees Fahren­heit.”

“For coun­tries av­er­aging be­low that tem­per­at­ure, like those in Scand­inavia, a warm­er year meant more pro­duc­tion. Above the bench­mark, however, each de­gree meant less eco­nom­ic pro­duc­tion. That’s due to a vari­ety of factors, in­clud­ing re­duced ag­ri­cul­tur­al out­put and health prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with warm­er tem­per­at­ures.”

“The re­search­ers said that some coun­tries whose av­er­age tem­per­at­ure is be­low the 13-de­gree bench­mark—such as Rus­sia, Canada, and parts of Europe—would ac­tu­ally see an eco­nom­ic boost. In the poorest 40 per­cent of coun­tries, however, the eco­nom­ic hit could be as high as 75 per­cent by the end of the cen­tury.”

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