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It’s one of the scariest questions facing billions of humans on a hotter planet: How many of us will die from extreme heat in the decades ahead?
Your future risk of dying from heat will be determined more than anything else by where you live and the local consequences of today’s economic inequality. That’s the conclusion of a major paper released today by the Climate Impact Lab, a research consortium that spent years mapping the relationship between temperature, income, and mortality. People in poor regions who benefit less from investment in air conditioning, protective infrastructure, and elder care will die from extreme heat at much higher rates, even compared to wealthier peers who experience similar hot temperatures.Associated working paper: Carleton, T.A. et al (2020). Valuing the Global Mortality Consequences of Climate Change Accounting for Adaptation Costs and Benefits (NBER Working Paper No. 27599). Cambridge MA : National Bureau of Economic Research. https://www.nber.org/papers/w27599