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Heat waves: losses of no less than 5 trillion dollars

Heat waves: losses of no less than 5 trillion dollars

Two researchers estimate Extreme heat waves cost the global economy at least $5 trillion between 1992 and 2013, hitting the poorest countries four times more than the rich ones.

In terms of Gross National Product (GNP), the losses represent 6.7% of the GNP of countries representing the poorest 10% and 1.5% of the richest countries. And the gap will continue to hurt poor countries, because most of these countries are already in warmer regions Thresholds bearing the human body be Reached more quickly.

According to this new study, published October 28 in science progressAll it takes is an average temperature increase during the five hottest days of the year to have an effect on the rest of the year.

Many poor countries are also producers of commodities – agriculture or natural resources – which makes them more vulnerable to extreme heat. And that’s without taking into account the impact on road infrastructure – melting asphalt, for example – or on their electric grids burdened with demand for air conditioning.

If their calculations are confirmed in the coming years by other studies, that means that Economic Effects Climate change has so far been underestimated: because losses from floods or hurricanes are easy to compute, on the other hand, the economic effects of heat have always been difficult to quantify. In fact, a loss of $5 trillion in 20 years is their most “optimistic” estimate. The most pessimistic is $29 trillion. What’s more, the fact that they chose the “five hottest days” of the year as the standard means that the effects of shorter extremes of heat escape the calculations.

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Finally, they note that the financial losses associated with these heat waves will continue to increase as average temperatures continue to rise.