Will Climate Change Affect Your Farm?

The short answer is yes!  Rising temperatures have negative consequences to your business.  In an interesting paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) authors Tatyana Deryugina and Solomon M. Hsiang in a paper entitiled "Does the Environment Still Matter? Daily Temperature and Income in the United States" report, that rising temperatures affect the productivity of workers' output.  This make a lot of sense around here (just try mowing the yard on a hot afternoon and watch what happens to your productivity).  They suggest that productivity per individual workday declines 1.7 percent for each 1 degree C (1.8 degrees F) rise in temperature above 15 degrees C (59 degrees F) when statistics are looked at.  A shocking $20.00 per day, per person, is lost in a county when a weekday is above 30 degrees C (86 degrees F).  Now this is a survey of the entire economy in a county but it was determined that farm incomes contribute most to that loss.

In another thought provoking paper from NBER entitiled "Climate and Conflict" concluded after looking at 55 econometric studies linking climate and potential conflict, that indeed rising temperatures provoked rising conflicts.  Conflicts could be defined as interpersonal conflict, which includes domestic violence, road rage, assault, murder, and rape, as well as group conflict which included  riots, ethnic violence, land invasions, gang violence, civil war, and other political instability which might not be what would happen at your nursery but does happen in other countries.  And this type of conflict increase even faster at an average of 11.3 percent for each standard deviation rise in temperature.

So, in light of this data on a economy wide, macroeconomic basis, it might be interesting to look at this on a nursery or micro-economic basis and see how workers' productivity and comfort might be improved to increase the overall farm output for better year end results.  For more information on this research, here is a link to the NBER.  http://www.nber.org/digest/apr15/w20750.html  Let me know what are your thoughts about this data, you can comment a post on this blog.

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