The last great wave of heat that Spain suffered at the beginning of August bleeding temperature records at numerous points of the country and joined which in that same period he asphydled on other Mediterranean neighbors, such as Italy and Greece. In addition to its effects on the health of people and the increased risk of forest fires, episodes such as those who live in August cause economic losses that a team of researchers has estimated in a study published on Monday in the journal Nature Communications.
The team, led by the Spanish researcher David García León, analyst at Joint Research Center of the European Commission, concludes that due to the impact on workers' productivity, heat waves are already causing a "significant harm to economics European "That according to its estimates, it will be increased significantly in the coming decades. The countries of the south of the continent as Spain are already and will be the most affected.
Thus, between 1960 and 2017, the number of days has doubled with extreme temperatures in Europe and the scientists' forecasts point to the heat waves will be increasingly frequent and longer. The years that have been exceptionally hot as 2003, 2010, 2015 and 2018 have caused losses between 0.3 and 0.5% of the GDP of Europe. They are percentages between 1.5 and 2.5 times higher than the average loss due to extreme heat during the period 1981 and 2010, when that economic impact was 0.2% of GDP.
The projections for the next four decades indicate that these losses due to extreme heat could multiply by five.
Cyprus will be the most affected country, with annual losses of up to 3.5% of GDP by 2060. In the case of Portugal, Spain and Croatia, annual losses would rise from 2% of average GDP each year in the 2035 decade. - 2045, at 3% average annual in the decade 2055-64. The economies of Romania, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria would also greatly increase their losses.
But even relatively cold countries do not get rid of the effects of extreme heat. According to the authors, the projections show that the impacts of these events will increase in all latitudes, proportionally more in the south, which does not mean that there are years in which these impacts become very intensely in colder latitudes, as it has already occurred in 2003 and in 2018.
Although the hottest countries are currently the most affected, within them there are significant differences between regions of the same nation. Within Spain, the most affected are Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, the Region of Murcia, Andalusia, the Valencian Community and Aragon, and the least, Asturias and the Basque Country (according to the 2018 data).
These differences respond to climate and economic heterogeneity (each region specializes in different sector) present in the countries analyzed.
As indicated by the authors of the report, although the study has considered agriculture, construction and transport, other sectors (whether outdoor or indoors) are also negatively affected in terms of economic activity, even in less Measure, due to the different interrelationships between economic activities.
Likewise, they emphasize that their study focuses on the heat waves and not in the global effects of the increased temperature of the planet, although there is evidence aiming that in some countries and sectors, extreme phenomena as the waves of heat go to be increased by climate change.
This research involved in researchers from several European institutions arrived a few weeks before the celebration of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow. Match, ensure, is purely accidental although very timely, considering that the IPCC (the Climate Changing Expert Group linked to the UN) predicted in its report last August the increase in the loss and intensity of extreme meteorological events and In addition, the economic impacts of these phenomena are little studied.
The work collects, on the other hand, different adaptation measures as economic losses could be reduced if it is advocated by the implementation of a Community Adaptation Plan focused on alleviating the effects of these events.Updated Date: 09 October 2021, 05:07