Climate change linked to declines in labour productivity

Feb 25, 2013 by Charis Palmer & Sunanda Creagh
Researchers say labour capacity is being reduced during hot months as a result of climate change. Credit: AAP/Kimimasa Mayama

Increases in humidity caused as a result of climate change are reducing labour productivity and it's only likely to get worse over time, argue researchers from America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In an article published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers say humidity is already reducing people's working capacity by 10% during peak months of around the world, and this is likely to grow to 20% by 2050.

The researchers say even if the global community commits to active mitigation of CO2, there will be increasing environmental limitations on labour capacity in the coming decades.

In the considered by the model, safe labour would be prohibited in large areas during peak months by 2200, including the entire US east of the Rockies.

"So far little has been done to estimate the impact of climate change on labour productivity," said David Peetz, professor of at Griffith University.

"The impact on productivity shown here, for people not experiencing the increasingly expensive benefits of air conditioning, is going to be quite stark, especially for people in warmer or mid-latitude climates," Professor Peetz said.

"It all points to the fact that it's much cheaper to deal with it now than to wait until some date in the future."

The researchers combined analysis of humidity and climate change projections with industrial and military guidelines for people's ability to work under heat stress.

Their projections do not include information about , climate warming patterns, CO2 emissions, future population distributions and technological and societal change.

Nor did they consider labour productivity increases associated with a reduction in adverse conditions of extreme cold, snow and .

Professor John Freebairn, an expert in at the University of Melbourne's Department of Economics, said the paper provided "provides a detailed assessment of just one of the ways in which higher temperatures and humidity across the globe would bring additional costs to society."

"It is part of an extended exercise to assess the costs of climate change, and builds more details into the rough early estimates reported by Stern (2006), Garnaut (2008) and many others," he said.

Explore further: US delays decision on Keystone pipeline project

More information: www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate1827.html

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User comments : 11

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antigoracle
1 / 5 (11) Feb 25, 2013
Nor did they consider labour productivity increases associated with a reduction in adverse conditions of extreme cold, snow and frozen soil.

Read more at: http://phys.org/n...html#jCp

What an absolute joke. This epitomizes climate "science" and the alarmist agenda.
Howhot
5 / 5 (7) Feb 26, 2013
@antigoracle, How's it feel being an environmental sphincter?
kochevnik
4 / 5 (9) Feb 26, 2013
antigoracle is the same sheep that screams and points fingers whenever he sees a Muslim on television or driving a taxi
antigoracle
1 / 5 (8) Feb 26, 2013
Of course, the Global Warming Alarmist TURDS response, is to insult.
VendicarE
4.2 / 5 (6) Feb 26, 2013
Most people don't work outside in winter. So productivity declines due to warm weather become self evident.

In my area, I note that during extreme heat events, IQ's drop to American levels.

"productivity increases associated with a reduction in adverse conditions of extreme cold" - Tardicle
Howhot
5 / 5 (5) Feb 26, 2013
Of course, the Global Warming Alarmist TURDS response, is to insult.

That because your testicles are too small to even start a debate on global warming.
antigoracle
1 / 5 (6) Feb 28, 2013
Ha Ha. The Turds want to debate.
OK. Let's talk about the hockey stick.
VendicarE
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 28, 2013
Which hockey stick? There are dozens of them now.

"OK. Let's talk about the hockey stick." - Denialist Idiot
antigoracle
1 / 5 (5) Mar 12, 2013
@antigoracle, How's it feel being an environmental sphincter?
-- howHotTurd

How does it feel to be the thing we squeeze out of our sphincter?
deepsand
2.3 / 5 (8) Mar 12, 2013
How does it feel, AO, to be an insignificant flea on an elephant's rump?
deepsand
2.4 / 5 (8) Mar 13, 2013
Given your fixation on fecal matter, AO, and that you seem to specialize in excreting same, a more suitable alias for you would be AnalOrifice.

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