Research by CEGA faculty director Edward Miguel and affiliates Marshall Burke and Solomon Hsiang that found evidence of an optimal temperature for economic activity was featured in a Yale Climate Connections article.
“The 2015 study led by Burke found evidence of an optimal temperature for economic activity. Regions with average temperatures around 13 degrees C (55 degrees F, like the U.S., Japan, China, and much of Europe) have the strongest economies. As temperatures warm beyond that sweet spot, economic productivity weakens, which is especially problematic for poorer countries nearer to the equator that already have sub-optimally hot climates.
In short, economic models assuming that the global economy will continue to hum along with only relatively minor climate perturbation will inevitably underestimate the economic impacts of severe climate change. The economy has consistently grown in the past, but that doesn’t mean it must continue to grow rapidly in the future in the face of potentially extreme changes to the climate and widespread societal impacts.”
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