Ground Report | New Delhi: Rising heat Labour losses; The world is heading towards a future where extreme global warming will drastically impact each and every aspect of human life. If the global temperature rises three degrees on average ( the most likely scenario right now ), extreme heat will cause lost hours of work and productivity that could amount to up to 1.4 trillion euros per year.
Rising heat Labour losses
“Each extra degree will cause more economic losses. And as the world warms, strategies such as moving work to the cooler hours of the day will cease to be effective, ” concludes a study published this Tuesday in the scientific journal ‘Nature Communications ‘.
Increased heat due to global warming is causing job losses and India, one of the worst affected countries, is expected to experience the largest population-weighted job and economic losses. India is one of the worst affected countries, according to a new study led by researchers at Duke University.
The analysis points out the impact of the global increase in temperatures on the activity of people who work outdoors. Especially in the agricultural and construction sectors, where working hours add up to a large number of hours and are carried out, to a large extent, in the open air. ” If global temperatures rise two degrees higher than today, it will be almost impossible to do these jobs safely during summer afternoons in many parts of the world,” the research highlights.
“Moist heat is particularly dangerous because high ambient temperatures combined with high humidity impede the body’s ability to lose body heat to the outside through evaporative cooling of sweat,” the researchers explained in the study published yesterday December 14.
There are physiological limits to the heat/humidity combinations that humans can tolerate. Currently, the world loses between 280 and 311 billion dollars a year as workers struggle in hot and humid conditions, and if the world warms 2 ° C more than now, those losses would increase to 1.6 trillion Dollars.
Each degree of warming
Global warming will cause labour losses most acutely in the tropics and subtropics, but it will also increasingly affect the mid-latitudes. Each degree of warming leads to exponential, non-linear losses in labour productivity.
For example, the number of hours lost in the 12-hour workday increases from 101 billion hours per ° C in the last 42 years to 197 billion hours per ° C with an additional 2 ° C of global warming.
On a global scale, according to the recently published study, it is estimated that countries such as India, China, Pakistan, and Indonesia will suffer the highest number of work hours lost due to extreme heat since a large part of their population works outdoors. The research also points to a long list of regions where rising global temperatures will cause the largest per capita losses on the globe. This is the case, for example, of the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Thailand, Gambia, Senegal, Cambodia, Ghana, and Sri Lanka. In these points of the world map, in addition, extreme heat could further exacerbate the gap between rich and poor.
Critical jobs, such as farm work and construction work, will be nearly impossible to perform safely during the evening hours in the summer in many places, the study warned.
An increase in heat stress resulting from global warming is projected to lead to global productivity losses equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs by 2030, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).
hottest 3 hours of the day
In this study, the researchers projected future labour losses for all countries in the world under global temperature increases of 1 ° C, 2 ° C, 3 ° C, and 4 ° C relative to the present.
Currently, taking labour out of the hottest 3 hours of the day can recoup around 30 percent of productivity losses. However, this can cause other problems, for example, due to lack of sleep during increasingly hot and humid weather.
In today’s climate, an average summer day in a place like New Delhi, India, or Doha, Qatar exposes workers in the shade to exposure to the midday heat that would cause productivity losses of 15 to 20 minutes/hour of time safe work. In contrast, in the early hours of the morning, there are less than 10 minutes/hour of productivity losses.
When labour losses per person spread to the working-age population engaged in heavy work outdoors, India experiences the greatest impacts of heat exposure in heavy work (> 101 billion hours lost / year) in the world.