Exposure to excessive heat and impacts on labour productivity linked to cumulative CO2 emissions.

Chavaillaz, Yann, Roy, Philippe , Partanen, Antti-Ilari, Da Silva, Laurent, Bresson, Émilie, Mengis, Nadine , Chaumont, Diane and Matthews, H. Damon (2019) Exposure to excessive heat and impacts on labour productivity linked to cumulative CO2 emissions. Open Access Scientific Reports, 9 (1). Art.Nr. 13711. DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50047-w.

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Cumulative CO2 emissions are a robust predictor of mean temperature increase. However, many societal impacts are driven by exposure to extreme weather conditions. Here, we show that cumulative emissions can be robustly linked to regional changes of a heat exposure indicator, as well as the resulting socioeconomic impacts associated with labour productivity loss in vulnerable economic sectors. We estimate historical and future increases in heat exposure using simulations from eight Earth System Models. Both the global intensity and spatial pattern of heat exposure evolve linearly with cumulative emissions across scenarios (1% CO2, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). The pattern of heat exposure at a given level of global temperature increase is strongly affected by non-CO2 forcing. Global non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions amplify heat exposure, while high local emissions of aerosols could moderate exposure. Considering CO2 forcing only, we commit ourselves to an additional annual loss of labour productivity of about 2% of total GDP per unit of trillion tonne of carbon emitted. This loss doubles when adding non-CO2 forcing of the RCP8.5 scenario. This represents an additional economic loss of about 4,400 G$ every year (i.e. 0.59 $/tCO2), varying across countries with generally higher impact in lower-income countries.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-BM Biogeochemical Modeling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1038/s41598-019-50047-w
ISSN: 2045-2322
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 08:38
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2020 09:10
URI: http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/47886

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