This Is What Heat Does to Us—and the Economy

By 2100, global warming could shrink per capita GDP by 25 percent.

Sometimes it's just too hot to do anything. Even if you're an economy.

Climate researchers are reviewing myriad studies of heat and human behavior, adding them up, and looking for sound conclusions about the relationship between temperature and economic productivity. 

Here's a short, colorful video guide to this new, and worrisome, research, ranging from impact on gross domestic product to profanity in social media [pdf] and retaliation in baseball [pdf].

One study, published in Nature in November 2015, finds that productivity peaks in all countries when the average annual temperature is around 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 Fahrenheit) and that by 2100, global warming could shrink per-capita GDP by a quarter. Another paper, published in Science in September, gathers dozens of studies of temperature and behavior into a single, revealing mosaic. 

Ultimately, a more nuanced understanding of humanity and heat may help scientists make better projections of future economic damage that may result from the warming world.

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