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Potential Impacts of Global Warming - 9/28/16

The number of studies pertaining to the potential impacts of global warming continues to expand.  Many focus on damage to property or to key industries like agriculture and tourism.  But the impacts go well beyond that. 

As noted in the New York Times, a new working paper from Jisung Park, a Ph.D. student in economics at Harvard, compared the performance of New York City students on nearly five million exams with temperature.  He found that students taking a New York State Regents exam on a ninety-degree day have a twelve percent greater chance of failing than when the temperature is seventy two degrees. 

The Regents exams help determine whether or not a student graduates.  Edward Miguel, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley has found that extremes in climate lead to more violence, more war, and more riots.  Researchers have found that hot days produce more angry honking in Arizona and more incidents of road rage in certain communities. 

It may be that 2016 will turn out to be the hottest year in recorded history.  Each of the first six months of this year set a record as the hottest ever, so January was the hottest January on record and so on.  Maybe that helps explain why it’s been an unpleasant year along so many dimensions.   

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.