Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development – The map on the left shows countries where GDP per capita increased or decreased as a result of global warming between 1961 and 2010. The map on the right shows the same information from 1991, after economic data became available for more countries. (Image credit: Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke)

The gap between the economic output of the world’s richest and poorest countries is 25 percent greater today than it would be without global warming, according to new research from Stanford University.

Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development

Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development

A new study from Stanford University shows that global warming has increased economic inequality since the 1960s. Temperature changes caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere have enriched cool countries like Norway and Sweden, while dragging down economic growth in hot countries like India and Nigeria.

Environment And Development Economics

An analysis by Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke shows that warming that has already occurred – 1 degree Celsius or 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit globally above the pre-industrial average – has increased economic inequality around the world. (Image credit: Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke)

“Our results show that most of the poorest countries on Earth are substantially poorer than they would be without global warming,” said climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, lead author of the study published April 22 in the reviewed colleague.

The study, co-authored with Marshall Burke, a Stanford assistant professor of Earth system science, finds that, from 1961 to 2010, global warming reduced wealth per person in the world’s poorest countries by 17 to 30 percent. Meanwhile, the gap between the group of nations with the highest and lowest economic output per person is now about 25 percent greater than it would be without climate change.

Although economic inequality between countries has decreased in recent decades, the research suggests that the gap would have narrowed faster without global warming.

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The study builds on previous research in which Burke and co-authors analyzed 50 years of annual measurements of temperature and GDP for 165 countries to estimate the effects of temperature fluctuations on economic growth. They demonstrated that growth during warmer-than-average years accelerated in cool nations and slowed in warm nations.

Countries with high historical emissions are among those that have enjoyed the highest per capita GDP and fastest economic growth since the 1960s, while those with relatively low historical emissions have seen per capita GDP decline. (Image credit: Noah Diffenbaugh and Marshall Burke)

“The historical data clearly shows that crops are more productive, people are healthier and we are more productive at work when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold,” Burke explained. “This means that in cold countries, a little warming can help. The opposite is true in places that are already warm.”

Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development

In the current study, Diffenbaugh and Burke combined Burke’s previously published estimates with data from more than 20 climate models developed by research centers around the world. By using the climate models to isolate how much each country has already warmed due to human-caused climate change, the researchers were able to determine what each country’s economic output might have been if temperatures had not warmed.

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To account for uncertainty, the researchers calculated more than 20,000 versions of what each country’s annual economic growth could have been without global warming. The estimates in the paper capture the range of results delivered by those thousands of different routes.

“For most countries, whether global warming has helped or hurt economic growth is fairly certain,” Burke said. Tropical countries, in particular, tend to have temperatures well outside the ideal for economic growth. “There is essentially no uncertainty that they were harmed.”

It is less clear how warming has affected growth in countries in mid-latitudes, including the United States, China and Japan. For these and other temperate climate nations, the analysis reveals economic impacts of less than 10 percent.

“Some of the largest economies are near the perfect temperature for economic output. Global warming has not pushed them off the top of the hill, and in many cases it has pushed them toward it,” Burke said. “But a large amount of warming in the future will push them further and further away from the temperature optimum.”

Uncertain Impacts On Economic Growth When Stabilizing Global Temperatures At 1.5°c Or 2°c Warming

While the effects of temperature may seem small from year to year, they can produce dramatic gains or losses over time. “This is like a savings account, where small differences in the interest rate will generate large differences in the account balance over 30 or 50 years,” said Diffenbaugh, the Kara J. Foundation Professor at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences ( Stanford Earth). For example, after accumulating decades of small effects of warming, India’s economy is now 31 percent smaller than it would have been without global warming.

At a time when climate policy negotiations are often stalled over questions of how to fairly share responsibility for curbing future warming, Diffenbaugh and Burke’s analysis offers a new measure of the price many countries have already paid. “Our study provides the first accounting of exactly how much each country has been economically affected by global warming, relative to its historical greenhouse gas contributions,” said Diffenbaugh, who is also a Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

While the largest emitters enjoy an average of about 10 percent higher GDP per capita today than they would have in a world without warming, the lowest emitters have been dragged down by about 25 percent. “This is on par with the decline in economic output seen in the United States during the Great Depression,” Burke said. “It’s a huge loss compared to where these countries would be otherwise.”

Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development

The researchers emphasize the importance of increasing sustainable energy access for economic development in poorer countries. “The more these countries warm, the more drag there will be on their development,” Diffenbaugh said. “Historically, rapid economic development has been powered by fossil fuels. Our finding that global warming has exacerbated economic inequality indicates that there is an additional economic benefit from energy sources that do not contribute to further warming.”

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. Burke is a fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and, by courtesy, at the Forest Institute for the Environment.

The research was supported by the Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science, the Stanford Research Computing Center and Stanford University.

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Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development

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Economic Development In An Era Of Climate Change

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Protocol For Estimating The Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Growth And Inequality Under Climate Policies

By Yubin Zhao Yubin Zhao Scilit Google Scholar 1 and Shuguang Liu Shuguang Liu Scilit Google Scholar 1, 2, *

Received: March 15, 2023 / Revised: April 15, 2023 / Accepted: April 18, 2023 / Published: April 24, 2023

Climate change is a negative global externality that threatens economic growth. In our study, we first reviewed the transmission mechanisms of climate change affecting economic growth based on existing literature. Second, we respectively used the fixed effect method and the panel vector autoregressive method to test the short-term and long-term effects of climate change on the economic growth of 44 countries in six.

Impact Of Climate Change On Economic Development

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