According to a recent research, unabated global warming may slash world’s average income by more than 20 percent by 2100. The estimates were made taking into account the economic development of a planet without global warming.
But while some Western world countries may also be affected, the developing countries would be the worst hit. Researchers also expect the phenomenon to further widen the gap between the rich and poor. About 77 percent of world’s countries will be affected by a shrinking per capita income.
But there are countries that would beat all odds and continue economic growth despite global warming. In fact, for countries like Canada, Russia, and some states in northern Europe, rising temperatures may boost their productivity, at least temporarily.
The recent research was the combined work of researchers at Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley. The study is the first to find data-backed evidence that global warming may affect economic performance on a global scale.
The method used in the study allows researchers to estimate the impact of climate change on both local and global economies. But the news that global warming may slash world’s average income by more than 20 is a bit shocking. Researchers found that the impact of climate change on economic productivity is 2.5 to 100 times larger than previous estimates.
The study was released more than a month before world leaders will meet in Paris to discuss global climate and issue a draft designed to tackle the phenomenon. The Paris global warming meeting will start November 30 and last two weeks.
Until now, 154 countries of 196 pledged to curb their greenhouse gas emission or replace fossil fuel energy with greener alternatives. Countries currently hope that they may be able to reach an agreement in Paris, which will cover all countries.
World’s nations will take the appropriate measures to prevent a 2 degrees C rise in global temperatures in 2020. But keeping them on track beyond that point is crucial. The recent study shows that lack of action may translate into higher economic costs than previously estimated.
Berkeley researchers explained that their findings are so different from previous studies because they employed a different method. Plus, a large part of past studies were based on computer models and used outdated data.
In the recent study, researchers sifted through real economic and climate data from more than 160 countries. The group was also able to discern between influences on economic activity brought by global warming and those generated by other factors. Researchers found that statistically a nation’s economy reaches its peak when the annual average temperature is not higher than 13 degrees C.
The study was published Oct. 21 in the journal Nature.
Image Source: Flickr