EGU2020-8779, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Loss of work productivity in a warming world: Differences between developed and developing countries

Shuang Yu1,2,6, Zhongwei Yan1,6, Jiangjiang Xia1,6, Alcide Zhao2, Anzhi Zhang1, Yang Xia3, Dabo Guan3, Jiarui Han4, Jun Wang1, Liang Chen1, and Yakun Liu5
Shuang Yu et al.
  • 1Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, China (
  • 2School of Geosciences, The University of Edinburgh
  • 3School of International Development, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 4Training Centre, China Meteorological Administration
  • 5Beijing Information Science and Technology University
  • 6University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

Comparable estimates of the heat-related work productivity loss (WPL) in different countries over the world are difficult partly due to the lack of exact measures and comparable data for different counties. In this study, we analysed 4363 responses to a global online survey on the WPL during heat waves in 2016. The participants were from both developed and developing countries, facilitating estimates of the heat-related WPL across the world for the year. The heat-related WPL for each country involved was then deduced for increases of 1.5, 2, 3 and 4 °C in the global mean surface temperature under the representative concentration pathway scenarios in climate models. The average heat-related WPL in 2016 was 6.6 days for developing countries and 3.5 days for developed countries. The estimated heat-related WPL was negatively correlated with the gross domestic product per capita. When global surface temperatures increased by 1.5, 2, 3 and 4 °C, the corresponding WPL was 9 (19), 12 (31), 22 (61) and 33 (94) days for developed (developing) countries, quantifying how developing countries are more vulnerable to climate change from a particular point of view. Moreover, the heat-related WPL was unevenly distributed among developing countries. In a 2°C-warmer world, the heat-related WPL would be more than two months in Southeast Asia, the most influenced region. The results are considerable for developing strategy of adaptation especially for developing countries.

How to cite: Yu, S., Yan, Z., Xia, J., Zhao, A., Zhang, A., Xia, Y., Guan, D., Han, J., Wang, J., Chen, L., and Liu, Y.: Loss of work productivity in a warming world: Differences between developed and developing countries, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8779,, 2020

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