Stating that economic growth decreases when the number of wet days and days with extreme rainfall increases, a team of scientists analyzed data from more than 1,500 regions over the past 40 years. The study suggests that the intensification of daily rainfall caused by climate change due to the burning of oil and coal will harm the global economy.
According to the study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), rich countries are the hardest hit and the manufacturing and service sectors, now published by the study on the cover of the famous scientific journal Nature.
“It’s about prosperity and ultimately jobs. Economies around the world are being slowed by wetter days and extreme daily rainfall. This important information adds to our growing understanding of the true costs of climate change. “said Leonie Wenz of PIK and the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), who led the study.
“Until now, macro-economic assessments of climate impacts have focused primarily on temperature and have taken into account, if at all, changes in precipitation only over longer time scales such as years. or months, thus missing a full picture,” Wenz explained. “While more annual rainfall is generally good for economies, especially those dependent on agriculture, the question is also how the rain is distributed over the days of the year. The intensification of daily rainfall s turns out to be bad, especially for rich, industrialized countries like the United States, Japan or Germany.” A first-of-its-kind global analysis of the effects of subnational rainfall
“We identify several distinct effects on economic output, but the most important is that of extreme daily rainfall,” said Maximilian Kotz, first author of the study and also at the Potsdam Institute. “This is because extreme rainfall is where we can already see the influence of climate change most clearly and because it is intensifying almost everywhere in the world.”
The analysis statistically assesses subnational economic production data for 1,554 regions of the world over the period 1979-2019, collected and made public by MCC and PIK. Scientists combine them with high-resolution rainfall data. The combination of ever more detailed climate and economic data is of particular importance in the context of rainfall, a highly local phenomenon, and has revealed new insights. “It’s the daily rainfall that poses a threat.”
Humanity is heating the planet by loading the earth’s atmosphere with greenhouse gases from fossil power plants and cars. The warmed air can hold more water vapor which eventually becomes rain. Although atmospheric dynamics complicate regional changes in annual averages, daily precipitation extremes are increasing globally due to this water vapor effect, according to a statement from Potsdam.
“Our study reveals that it is precisely the fingerprint of global warming in daily precipitation, which has far-reaching economic effects that have not yet been taken into account but are very relevant,” said the co-author. Anders Levermann. He is director of the field of complexity sciences at the Potsdam Institute, a professor at the University of Potsdam and a researcher at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, New York.
“Looking closer at short timescales rather than annual averages helps to understand what is happening: it is daily rainfall that poses a threat. It is climate shocks related to weather extremes that threaten our way of life rather than incremental changes. By destabilizing our climate, we harm our economies. We must ensure that our consumption of fossil fuels does not destabilize our societies as well.
The above article was published from a telegraphic source with minimal changes to the title and text.