There have been several studies that show how a warming planet will decrease labor productivity. Diminished productivity has negative economic implications both for individual companies and the economy as a whole.
A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) study warned that climate change is likely to have a significant negative impact on productivity for the US workforce as a whole.
The NOAA study found the increasingly hot and wet climatic conditions have cut productivity rates by as much as 10 percent since the 1950s. The study also found that labor capacity losses could double by the 2050s.
The observation that a warming world will decrease productivity was reiterated in the recent Risky Business report.
According to a study titled, “The direct impact of climate change on regional labor productivity,” lost production and other costs should be expected in a warmer world.
The heat associated with global climate change will have deleterious implications for millions of working people. As explained in the study climate change will decrease labor productivity in most regions. This is particularly true in the absence of mitigation efforts.
The study estimates that by the 2080s, the losses of population-based labor work capacity will range from 11 percent to 27 percent. This will increase costs as more hours will be required to achieve the same output. Additional costs will come from occupational and health interventions against heat exposure. The worst affects are expected to occur in Southeast Asia, Andean and Central America, and the Caribbean.
Hot weather also enables ozone and the formation of fine particulate matter pollution which can travel hundreds of miles. This not only diminishes productivity it contributes to morbidity and mortality.
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