As the planet heats up, economies around the world may be cooling down. A new study at the University of California, Berkeley has found that, if left unmitigated, climate change could reduce average income by as much as 23 percent by the end of the century. The results are based on the finding that economies perform optimally at a temperature of 13 degrees Celsius, or 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Lead author Solomon Hsiang explains that rising temperatures could even widen global inequality.
"Most of the countries that are harmed the most are the countries that are already hot. And the countries that are already hot in the present world are the countries that tend to be poorer, on average, than cooler countries. And you have a lot of countries in the north, particularly in northern Europe, places like Germany and Norway, which are already quite cold and they in fact benefit a small amount from warming. And so what you have is an image of the world going forward where the global economy has been completely reshaped by climate change in a way that makes it relatively poorer and more unequal."
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