Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS

Enhanced economic connectivity to foster heat stress–related losses

Science Advances  10 Jun 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 6, e1501026
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501026

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Abstract

Assessing global impacts of unexpected meteorological events in an increasingly connected world economy is important for estimating the costs of climate change. We show that since the beginning of the 21st century, the structural evolution of the global supply network has been such as to foster an increase of climate-related production losses. We compute first- and higher-order losses from heat stress–induced reductions in productivity under changing economic and climatic conditions between 1991 and 2011. Since 2001, the economic connectivity has augmented in such a way as to facilitate the cascading of production loss. The influence of this structural change has dominated over the effect of the comparably weak climate warming during this decade. Thus, particularly under future warming, the intensification of international trade has the potential to amplify climate losses if no adaptation measures are taken.

Keywords
  • Climate change
  • climate adaptation
  • climatic extremes
  • economics of climate change
  • costs of climate change
  • heat stress
  • econometrics
  • multi-regional input-output matrices

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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