Study: Impact of Humid Heat on Labour

A Duke University study says that the increase in global temperature will affect labour productivity. The increase in temperature will lead to global economic losses of 1.6 trillion USD.

Key Findings of the study

  • In the twelve hour work day, around 670 billion USD is being lost currently. The world is already warmer by a degree Celsius as compared to that of the previous century. Every additional increase will affect people productivity. Between 1979 and 2020, the labour productivity was lost at the rate of 101 billion hours per year.
  • Today, the world is losing 259 billion hours annually due to heat.
  • Three –quarters of the world population are living in a location where the climate conditions are associated with work hours.
  • The labour productivity is the highest in the tropics. It is expected that the tropics might lost labour productivity of 500 to 600 hours per year.
  • The heat related labour losses have increased four times in the last four decades.

Labour Productivity loss in India

The study says that India is currently losing labour productivity at 259 billion hours per year. In the past twenty years, India lost 25 billion working hours. China is losing 72 billion hours per year. Bangladesh is losing 32 billion hours per year.

Why increase in temperature affects labour productivity?

According to the study, there are three reasons for the decreased labour productivity. The work of the people slows down as temperature increases in the morning. They continue doing their work tirelessly. By noon, the same work feels intensive. As temperature increases further, by two or three in the noon, they stop working as the heat makes them uncomfortable. As days pass by the same way, they begin to face health consequences.

Other Studies

Lancet says that that the poor countries have lost 4% to 8% of their National Gross Domestic Product. The National Climate Change says that climate change kills more than 100,000 people every year.




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