Climate Change Is Cutting Humans’ Work Capacity | Climate Central
By 2050, a combination of rising heat and humidity is likely to cut the world’s labor capacity to 80 percent during summer months — twice the effect observed today.Worker Rest Breaks Double by 2050 as Climate Warms: NOAA - Bloomberg
“The planet will start experiencing heat stress unlike anything experienced today,” said study co-author Ron Stouffer, a climate modeler at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. “The world is entering a very different environment, and the impact of that on labor will be significant.”
Those calculations don’t take into effect the relief offered by air conditioning.
Experts who were not involved with the research praised it as a solid, sobering analysis.
“This is an excellent study that draws upon existing work on heat stress and combines it with climate model projections of the future to bring home the point that ‘global warming’ means, among other things, that it will get quite hot and wet in many places,” said Matthew Huber, a climatologist at Purdue University.
Workers in jobs without air conditioning will need rest breaks twice as often by 2050 to avoid heat stress amid a warming climate, according to a study from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.Global warming to make work miserable, study says - Science
“This effort changes the scope of the climate-change debate by putting the direct human impact in practical terms,” said John Dunne, who leads the Biochemistry, Ecosystems and Climate Group at the Princeton laboratory and the study’s lead writer. “It relates to anyone working without the benefit of air conditioning and would be a minimum estimate of heat stress for anyone working in an elevated heat environment, such as a kitchen or furnace.”
“Extreme projections of global warming of 6 degrees eliminates all labor capacity in the hottest months in many areas, including the lower Mississippi Valley, and exposes most of the U.S. east of the Rockies to heat stress beyond anything experienced in the world today,” Dunne said.
It’s possible that agricultural work will shift to higher latitudes, for example, and afternoon siestas could be routine in mid-latitudes.