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Economic Implications: An Effect of Climate Change


Economic Growth

Defined as a measure of the increase in economic output of a nation, economic growth is key to measure the state of an economy. A report entitled "Global Non-linear Effect of Temperature on Economic Production," published by Solomon Hsiang and Marshall Burke and Edward Miguel, shows that for every degree Celsius of warming, economic growth will reduce by one percentage point. In context, this is a very high number because we consider low single-digit growth to be "strong" economic growth. Furthermore, the report shows that a climate-impacted economy will take result in a 23% loss in per capita earnings globally compared to a climate-free economic trajectory. The most frightening aspect of the report, however, shows a 51% chance that global output would decrease by over 20% by the year 2100 and a 12% chance that climate change would lower GDP per capita by 50% or more under the current emissions scenario. IN comparison, the Great Depression saw a 15% decline in GDP per capita globally. In short, the report estimates a 16% chance that there will be an irreversible recession in 2100 twenty times greater than the 2008 recession. However, these are conservative numbers, according to a 2018 study by Thomas Stoerk.


Results are also alarming region-by-region. Countries in the very north (Canada, Russia, Scandinavia, and Greenland) would benefit from warmer temperatures. However, the mid-latitudes, which produce the most economic activity, would lose nearly half of their output. Areas closer to the equator (Africa, Central America and Brazil, India, and Southeast Asia) would lose close to 100% of potential output. India alone would face nearly one-quarter of economic suffering according to a study. The World Bank reported in 2018 that the living conditions of 800 million people in Southeast Asia would sharply decline and 100 million people would be pulled into extreme poverty. 

So what does this mean? In short, climate change will cause a major economic decline that, globally, could be more severe than the Great Depression. Equatorial areas will be so hot that they will lose almost all produce and be pulled. into extreme  poverty. That could mean that some of our favorite 

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