Rising instances of extreme heat could hurt the global economy and increase health risks for people in urban areas, according to a new study focusing on 231 major Chinese cities released on Wednesday. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License photo
JULY 6 (UPI) – Increasing extreme heat events could hurt the global economy and increase health risks for people in urban areas, according to a study published Wednesday.
The results, published in the journal Nature Communications, show that heat-related work absenteeism will be unevenly distributed across different employment sectors.
This unequal distribution could raise “environmental justice concerns,” according to researchers at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.
According to the study, “heat-related absences from work are a major economic cost factor in connection with climate change”.
Researchers examined heat-related absenteeism in 231 Chinese cities using heat stress data modeled with a regional climate model.
“Urban heat stress could result in significant job losses in 231 major Chinese cities in the event of future global warming, which could add up to $5.11 billion to $5.82 billion in additional losses per year by mid-century. That current value is $2.11 billion,” wrote study co-author Yuqiang Zhang, a climate scientist in the Gillings School’s Department of Environmental Science and Engineering.
“Unfortunately, the economic losses in these urban areas are being borne mainly by those working outside and for low wages, such as in construction and construction, thereby deepening income inequality in the city. damage development.”
The study’s authors expect that more people in urban areas will be exposed to heat as the city’s population continues to grow and rising global average temperatures will disproportionately affect people working outdoors.
The study expects that “future costs to the market due to warming-related job losses by 2050 will be US$5.11±0.49 billion and US$5.82±0.55 billion per year across all urban networks (in China) will achieve, which is more than double the value of the 2010s.”
The study shows that in China, more than 70% of the country’s projected population growth will take place in urban areas.
“Urban heat stress is more relevant for sectors with more outdoor work and lower wages, such as building and construction, than in other regions, with the distribution of economic damage from future urban warming raising environmental equity concerns,” the researchers write in the study. improved.” ,