Claim: The Optimum Average Annual Temperature for Humans is 13c (55F)

temperature change

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A new study claims that people who live in tropical climates can’t be as productive as people who live in temperate climates – that 13c (55F) is the optimum temperature for human productivity. In the press release, the researchers further claim that warmer temperatures lead to poorer school results and more violence.

The abstract of the study;

Growing evidence demonstrates that climatic conditions can have a profound impact on the functioning of modern human societies, but effects on economic activity appear inconsistent. Fundamental productive elements of modern economies, such as workers and crops, exhibit highly non-linear responses to local temperature even in wealthy countries. In contrast, aggregate macroeconomic productivity of entire wealthy countries is reported not to respond to temperature, while poor countries respond only linearly. Resolving this conflict between micro and macro observations is critical to understanding the role of wealth in coupled human–natural systems and to anticipating the global impact of climate change. Here we unify these seemingly contradictory results by accounting for non-linearity at the macro scale. We show that overall economic productivity is non-linear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13 °C and declining strongly at higher temperatures. The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries. These results provide the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled to the global climate and establish a new empirical foundation for modelling economic loss in response to climate change, with important implications. If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change. In contrast to prior estimates, expected global losses are approximately linear in global mean temperature, with median losses many times larger than leading models indicate.

Read more: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature15725.html

According to the Washington Post;

Culling together economic and temperature data for over 100 wealthy and poorer countries alike over 50 years, the researchers assert that the optimum temperature for human productivity is seems to be around 13 degrees Celsius or roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as an annual average for a particular place. Once things get a lot hotter than that, the researchers add, economic productivity declines “strongly.”

“The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries,” write the authors, led by Marshall Burke of Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science, who call their study “the first evidence that economic activity in all regions is coupled to the global climate.” Burke published the study with Solomon Hsiang and Edward Miguel, economists at the University of California, Berkeley.

Assuming this relationship between temperature and productivity is correct, that naturally leads to deep questions about its cause. The researchers locate them in two chief places: agriculture and people. In relation to rising temperature, Burke says, “We see that agricultural productivity declines, labor productivity declines, kids do worse on tests, and we see more violence.

However, the new work has already drawn criticism — University of Sussex economist Richard Tol called it “hugely problematic” in an email to the Post — so it remains to be seen what other researchers make of the work.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/10/21/sweeping-study-claims-that-rising-temperatures-will-sharply-cut-economic-productivity/

Even if we accept the study at face value, according to the abstract, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change.

Given that the global economy is growing at around 1% per annum per capita, a simple projection still yields a 130% increase in per capita income by 2100 under BAU. A 23% reduction to a 130% gain doesn’t seem such a big deal, in the scheme of things.

(1 + 0.01)85 years = 2.3

2.3 (230%) – the original 100% = 130% gain

I’m concerned that this study may be ignoring a lot of political and historical context. If an equivalent study was performed in the age of the Roman Empire, when much of the world’s economic activity centred on warm countries like Italy and Egypt, it seems likely that the calculated “optimum economic temperature” would have been significantly higher than 13c (55F)

However the simplest criticism of the study is the irrefutable fact that humans are physiologically optimised to extreme tropical conditions.

How would you feel, right now, if you took all your clothes off outdoors? You might feel embarrassed – but that is a cultural response. What you would most likely feel is cold, unless it was a hot day.

We all wear clothes, for comfort, style, and most importantly, to protect ourselves from the cold. Even in my home town on the edge of the tropics, certainly in winter, and for at least part of the Summer, people have to wear clothes, otherwise they get uncomfortably cold.

If you become too hot, such as when performing outdoor physical labour on a hot day, you can adjust your clothing to optimise your body temperature, say by swapping a long sleeve shirt for a t-shirt, wearing shorts, or in extreme cases by peeling down to not much clothing at all. I’ve mowed a large hilly multi-acre lawn with a petrol push mower, on days when the temperature exceeded 110F (45c). I’ll spare you the image of what I was wearing on those days.

My point is, humans are physiologically well adjusted to handling very hot weather, without adverse effects, providing we are acclimatised, providing we stay hydrated, and providing we dress appropriately for the weather. In any climate cooler than the extreme tropics where humans evolved, we have to wear clothes pretty much continuously, to protect ourselves from the cold.

Suggesting that productivity inevitably drops off, as we approach our physiological optimum environmental temperature, in my opinion is just plain silly.

As for the productivity of other plants and animals on which we depend, tropical countries are characterised by their superabundance of natural life, including food plants and animals. Some staple crops such as oats might like it cold – but there is plenty of edible farm produce which thrives in the heat.

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353 thoughts on “Claim: The Optimum Average Annual Temperature for Humans is 13c (55F)

  1. More evidence for my conjecture that CAGW is Eugenics reborn.
    Cut through all the multi-sylobol BS and you have the old spiel about the inferiority of the poor brown person.
    The Cult of Calamitous Climate is sick, possibly evil

    • I agree this is attempt to not allow the development of the
      dark-skinned world because they are: too hot, lazy sick and
      stupid.
      The biggest fear of Greenies is the spectre of healthy, happy
      prosperous,dark skinned people.

      • So, if 55/13 is optimal, and “significantly higher” is detrimental, what is “significant”? 1deg., 2deg.? And what happens with lower temperatures. If an average annual temperature of 55/13 is optimal, Canada must be the most productive nation in world. http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/Cities/temperature-annual-average.php
        The USA has a productive band above which it is too cold and below which it is too warm http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/US/average-annual-state-temperatures.php
        And many cities in Europe simply can’t be productive due to the sweltering
        http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Europe/Cities/temperature-annual-average.php

      • Yes, the claim is certainly very racist and concerns many preconceived ideas from Nazi ideology. Dreadful and shows how these people think(?)

      • And they aren’t very well versed in previous cultures that sprang up in the tropics. The Polynesians, a stone age culture developed the technology to populate and cultivate a vast swath of islands in the Pacific Ocean. Being a navigator myself, I am in awe of their navigational abilities.

      • I believe that the first productive humans on this planet came from the warmest regions of Africa.
        They evidently chose not to go to Scandinavia, because there was nobody interesting, living in Scandinavia.
        Not too many pre-Neanderthals fossils found in the Antarctic highlands.
        And in recent memory, I don’t think there were any dark skinned persons, on that ship of fools that went looking for intelligent life in Antarctica, and got trapped in the shifting sea ice.
        I believe the first nomadic Africans, that decided to go walkabout, and create the rest of us, were actually akin to today’s “bushmen” of Africa, that National Geographic have traditionally portrayed as less than the best Africa has to offer. Well nutz to NG.
        I’m quite proud of my African Bushman ancestry.

      • Read an article about some modern human teeth that were found in a cave in China that pre-date the time when modern humans were thought to have left Africa.

      • Now for some heat. It baffles me how we ever managed to evolve. We have hung around for some time now in one of the hottest regions on the planet. Human beings are tropical animals. Take it or leave it.

        Abstract – 2010
        Benjamin H. Passeya et al
        High-temperature environments of human evolution in East Africa based on bond ordering in paleosol carbonates
        Many important hominid-bearing fossil localities in East Africa are in regions that are extremely hot and dry. Although humans are well adapted to such conditions, it has been inferred that East African environments were cooler or more wooded during the Pliocene and Pleistocene when this region was a central stage of human evolution. Here we show that the Turkana Basin, Kenya—today one of the hottest places on Earth—has been continually hot during the past 4 million years. The distribution of 13C-18O bonds in paleosol carbonates indicates that soil temperatures during periods of carbonate formation were typically above 30 °C and often in excess of 35 °C……
        http://www.pnas.org/content/107/25/11245.short
        ======
        Letters to Nature – 1998
        A one-million-year-old Homo cranium from the Danakil (Afar) Depression of Eritrea
        One of the most contentious topics in the study of human evolution is that of the time, place and mode of origin of Homo sapiens1, 2, 3. The discovery in the Northern Danakil (Afar) Depression, Eritrea, of a well-preserved Homo cranium with a mixture of characters typical of H. erectus and H. sapiens contributes significantly to this debate……
        http://dx.doi.org/10.1038%2F30954

    • The naked human dies of exposure if average temperatures drop below 27C, the tropical jungles from which we came.
      There is a reason that most of the poor of the world live in the tropics. If they didn’t, they would be dead, because they can’t afford the cost of heating. At 13C most of the poor of the world would be dead within a day or two.

      • Absolutely.
        The reason we wear clothes is not because of modesty, but because it is too damn cold.
        It is only our ability to adapt either ourselves (with clothes) or our environment (with buildings, homes and heating) that has allowed us to inhabit almost all of the globe. That said, it is noteworthy that there is no major city in really cold climates, yet we see great cities in really hot climes (such as Dubai, UAE Qatar etc). It is very difficult for us to adapt to really cold conditions, probably largely uneconomic but also cumbersome.

      • Humans usually do what we have to do to maintain comfort and livability. Strong, insulated homes are necessary in Wisconsin or upstate New York or Maine, where even in summer a cool snap can bring temps in the 40s. Such homes are desirable even in Florida and Louisiana, where winter temps can dip into the 20s and even colder (one memorable morning when we were living in Baton Rouge, LA, the temp was 7 degrees F with a strong wind, or about -14 C). In the Amazon rain forest, where the natives don’t wear clothes because it never gets cold enough to need them, a strongly insulated home would seem an affectation. You build what you need; you invent what needs to be invented. The lack of a trusty furnace in much of central Africa would not be noticed; in Sweden or Siberia it would be disastrous. The lack of inventions or constructions to protect from the cold, in areas where it’s not cold, is not a sign of anything.

      • The temperature was just fine here in Brisbane, Australia. Most of the day was just comfortable between 28C to 31C with an evening thunderstorm to wash away the dust. I don’t know what these researchers are smoking but I wouldn’t like to have to spend the year at their “optimum” temperature.

      • Well no, there are lots of naked and near naked people on European beaches every summer at temperatures well below 27 C. In fact here in England it rarely gets as high as 27C but my heating is off from April to the end of Sept
        As a 60+ year old I grew up in the days before central heating and recall waking up to go to school before the coal fires had been lit. The house was so cold there was often frost on the INSIDE of the windows.
        The inuit are pretty poor as were the crofters of Northern Scotland and Russian peasants lived in wooden huts with nothing more technological than firewood but somehow they managed to survive
        None of this was evenly remotely comfortable and the smog from all those open grate coal burning fires was a killer. Gas fired central heating was a real boon.

      • Humans are actually one of the most hot-adapted species that there is.
        We use sweating to cool off. We sweat more than any other animal, orders of magnitude higher.
        We even lost our body hair about 1.8 million years ago to help sweating provide this super cooling off mechanism. Almost all other animals have to pant to cool off. We used this super cooling off ability to run down/jog down prey in the middle of the day-time heat on the African savanna.
        After a few kilometers of jogging down a four-legged herbivore, the animal suffered heat exhaustion and was easy prey for the new two-legged, efficient runner, staying cool through sweating and having the new handaxe which could cut up a kill very fast. A bigger brain to out-think these other animals and fire to make the meat easier to digest didn’t hurt either.
        We became king of the day-time heat of the savanna. It was such a successful strategy, that we soon spread to the rest of the colder world (after some type of clothing was developed) and slowly became king of all environments. We are a sweaty, two-leg, efficient running, smart, weapon-wielding hunter. The hotter it is, the more advantageous this becomes.

      • @richard verney: Over time, the necessity becomes the social norm and those who flout it are considered disrespectful. Hence in a cold climate our aversion to seeing naked people. Hence also the desert dweller’s insistence on wearing a face covering in public because if you were in the desert and got hit by a sandstorm it would be a handy thing to have. Just slightly. But in our climate it’s ridiculous. Similarly the necktie, which originated as the cravat which held-up a stiff collar as a protection in swordfights. Not many engage in duelling these days, but the tradition is remarkably persistent.

      • Humans are actually one of the most hot-adapted species that there is.

        Bill Illis, I agree, w/the caveat that we have to have, or get fairly quick access to water. From my experience/observations, we don’t physically match up or exceed other animals in most ways, except for, along w/camels, tolerating heat.

      • If people did not wearing any clothing from the day we were born, we would adapt to the local temps like every other creature on Earth.
        Use it or lose it.
        We are born nearly infinitely adaptable, but we lose many of our abilities as we grow because we lose that plasticity, and any unused abilities wither like a cut umbilicus.

      • The great cities of Dubai and Qatar only developed after oil was discovered. Whether they survive the end of oil in those countries remains to be seen.

      • @ Bill Illis – October 22, 2015 at 4:00 am

        After a few kilometers of jogging down a four-legged herbivore, the animal suffered heat exhaustion and was easy prey for the new two-legged, efficient runner, staying cool through sweating and ……………

        And you really believe that T&P, ……. huh?
        So tell me, …. was it before or after those new two-legged, proficiently sweating, efficient running hominoids migrated out onto those hot African savannahs …. that they learned to carry a big jug of water ……. and a bag of salt with them …. to prevent themselves from suffering a fatal case of heat exhaustion … long, long before that four-legged herbivore did?
        What a “bloody” sight that must have been, …… a naked bi-pedal hominoid fastly running barefoot through the “brush n’ thorns n’ briars” trying to catch a four-legged herbivore.

      • Where did humans evolve? Not in the Arctic. We evolved in pretty warm temperatures, and spread out from those areas, donning clothes along the way.
        As an aside, I had to larf at the WaPo writer:
        Culling together economic and temperature data…
        It’s not ‘culling’, it’s ‘compiling’. Culling = selecting, which doesn’t make sense.

      • The term ‘culling’ could be appropriate if the author indeed was casting out data that he considered inconvenient to his pre-selected conclusion.

      • Samuel C. Cogar October 22, 2015,
        Yes, they carried water with them. Ostrich eggs, leather bags, something was used.
        Look up Homo Egaster or Homo Erectus. How did we go from Ape to a technological species. It was these two steps which lead to us and why you are cold without clothes when it is just 13C.

      • James Cross
        October 22, 2015 at 2:47 am
        You might want to check out the Yaghan people before you generalize too much about temperature ranges for humans.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yaghan_people#Adaptations_to_climate

        Wonderful! The Wiki link says:

        They kept warm by huddling around small fires…..They covered themselves in animal grease…..they had evolved significantly higher metabolisms than average humans…..Their natural resting position was a deep squatting position

        No thank you sir! Give me clothing instead.

      • @ Bill Illis – October 22, 2015 at 4:25 pm
        You have been miseducated into believing the “circular reasoning” scenarios being touted by the proponents of the ….. “Out of the trees and across the hot African savannahs” theory of Homo sapien sapien evolution.
        So, shur nuff, you believe our early ancestors carried their Ostrich egg water containers and their leather bags containing salt along with their flint axes that the used for killing and butchering the 4-legged herbivores ….. to obtain the high protein food that they required for enhanced brain development so that they would become intelligent enough to invent water containers, leather bags and flint axes.
        Yup, they invented those thingys before they were smart enough to invent them because they needed them to acquire the high protein foods they needed to make them smart enough for inventing thingys.
        Head for the roundhouse Molly …… they can’t corner you there.”
        And ps: As far as you or anyone else knows, ….. the evolving of “sweat glands” in the epidermis covering of the human body may have specifically evolved for ridding the body of excess salt …… because the retention of too much salt will kill you “deader than a door nail”, There has been more than one (1) human that has died from drinking “salty” ocean water.

    • One can lust for power without hating tropical brown people. Power and profit are ends unto themselves. If you want to imply that greenies are racist instead of generally anti-development, you’d better provide more support.

      • Your average greenie is a nice guy in his skin, but they are the useful idiots for not so nice guys – elites that know what’s best for all and, yes, they invented eugenics and its cropping up more and more. If you or I said what this ‘study’ has said, we would be pilloried as rank racists and rightly so. There is nothing more colonial than the idea that these tropical lazy savages need ‘our’ schooling, guidance and manangement of their affairs. Power and profit isn’t all they want. It’s what they want to do with it and it doesn’t augur well for our tropical folks. Who do you think they have in mind when they talk about the ideal population of half a billion people are what we should aim for?

      • Rob, you don’t see a pattern in that every “Green” solution to every “ecological problem” for the last 50 years has had at the bottom the idea that non whites should live in poor conditions and stay there?
        From DDT, which was only “dangerous” after it had wiped malaria out in the predominantly white nations to current cutesy solar cookers that seem really good until you understand that the kids still have no light to study under, no fresh water and no sanitation. A nice big dam would provide all three, but Greens have never found a dam they like.
        But turn the question around, is there a single policy advocated by Greens that would raise the actual living standards of non whites on this planet? Or would they all, in the long run, just leave them in sickness and poverty?

    • So I’m not the only one who read the superiority of the White Northern European into this pathetic excuse for a study. It’s racial Darwinism at it’s finest.

      • Without CAGW, the power to sue both industry and the wealthy using disparate impact will be significantly weakened.
        The most powerful lobbying group in the USA is the trial attorneys industry. They want CO2 accountability badly. They will get richer and their clients will vote for the Dems.
        CAGW would never have gotten this far unless a this significant reward was within reach.
        Go beyond the casual NGO search in America and look at local NGOs, including alliegence organizations such as Occupy Wall Street and Hands Up. Then follow the money. There are also very good public sites that do this for you.
        CAGW would have died a long time ago if it wasn’t so easily transformable into a social justice tool.

    • Agree John, seems like egocentric prejudice and Eugenics. The intolerance and prejudice of the lefty greenie elite is staggering. Mean annual temperature in the Berkeley, CA area ~ 58 F.

      • I guess it’s just coincidence that San Francisco is perfect (Berkeley and Stanford). Everything in California is perfect, and we better listen because the folks there are really bright and productive as well. I assume that if we checked out the setting on their office thermostats they all keep it 13C – ya, sure.

    • I was going to say something like this myself. Sounds like more “progressive” racism. Maybe they want to go back to their eugenicist roots?

    • actually, it’s probably more eugenics on steroids but minus the racist color issue. One finds plenty of references by some idiots like malthusians that the human population must be kept around 500 million – meaning that they need to exterminate billions of people to achieve it. Since this is most associated with leftist progressive views, one can figure that this time around diversity will probably be in the mix rather than going for the old fashion exterminate the inferior races BS. That won’t fly this time because the inferiors in society who are running the show feel that being racist is politically incorrect.

    • By and large those producing these kinds of “papers” are the global warming foot-soldiers and not the key players behind the global warming agenda.

    • You have nailed it. The US has temperatures between Maine and Florida, temperate California and intemperate Florida. Chicago is cold. Speaking of average 13 for many of these places is absurd. Yet the US productivity beats anywhere else on the world. People in Nevada in the US can be productive in spite of temperatures over 100 much of the year because of an invention available only in the united states called an AC Machine. People in Chicago can be productive in spite of 40 mile/hour -20C winds producing wind chills of -100 by using buildings that are sealed from the weather. These Americans, very crafty. When climate change hits these crafty americans must be made to give up their secrets of closed buildings and AC Machines.

    • More evidence for my conjecture that CAGW is Eugenics reborn.

      If anyone has any doubt they should visit the Holocaust Memorial Museum. The old Eugenics news clippings read eerily like the climate doom stories of today right down to the “consensus”.

    • Here is Golkany in March. He reminds us that catastrophic global warming is “supposed to warm winters more than summers — even so-called Skeptical Science acknowledges this!

      March 2, 2015
      What is the Optimum Temperature with respect to human mortality?
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/02/what-is-the-optimum-temperature-with-respect-to-human-mortality/

      Don’t get side-tracked by ‘heating’ of warm countries, they want us to keep our eyes off the pea.

  2. NPR Radio covered this at length on the 7 p.m. “news cast” with no suggestion that this might be an erroneous conclusion. Sigh.

  3. How does Singapore ever get through a day knowing it will fail and its getting worse.
    Totally agree John R.

    • Exactly! You don’t need a statistical model to prove this theory wrong. You just have to look at places with higher average temperatures as in your example. Scientism runs amok.

    • I’m thinking of a kind of international exchange program…for example, where I live, the yearly average temperature is 39.6. I would move to Hawaii and become “less productive” and some people who live in Hawaii would come and live in my home and become “more productive”. Equality for all! Cold lives matter!
      And that explains Detroit and Chicago perfectly! I mean the average yearly temp for Detroit is 56.7F and Chicago is 56.8F. Just those itty bitty increases over 55F has led to incredible violence, lack of productivity and horrible economic destruction! (sarc)

  4. Wow, such a sad excuse for a scientific paper. There are so many variables left unturned, so many correlations without causation.

    • News just in! The UK government has announced that as from today children’s classrooms will be set at 13C. All government offices the same. Citizens are advised to turn down their average room temperature of 21C to 13C so they can get smarter and do more house work. 😉

  5. A lot of stuff is coming out prior to the Paris-ites and their talk fest that rightfully belongs on that TFV programme “The Science of Stupid”.

  6. Well, this study finally explains the tremendous technology and industry base of northern New England, ME, VT, and NH, as opposed to that economic backwater Southern California, and specifically Silicon Valley.
    I wonder if they calculated a whole bunch of Wee p-values?
    *sigh*

  7. What was the economic activity in Europe like before the Enlightenment and individual rights led to greater individual freedom?

  8. So this study suggests we should all crank the AC during summer? I thought that was bad. I wish they’d make up their minds…

  9. Good Heavens! No wonder I’m so non-productive…During the summer when it’s nice, all I want to do is play. During the WINTER when it is COLD, all I want to do is watch football and drink. There is a NARROW WINDOW of (part)Sept,Oct,Nov(part) when I can be produtive, and sometimes April and May. I’m doomed.

    • April and May are prime Walleye fishin’ months around here. June, July and August are made for Bass fishin’ water sports road trips and tending the garden. September1st and Dove season starts, with too much football and NASCAR goings on in October to be bothered. Deer and Turkey season are getting going in late October, through the end of the year. Ok, January is still waterfowl season, so you’ve got February, but that’s prime skiing into March- and then the Crappie take off and the Sand Bass start runnin’…

  10. So if it gets too hot it is not optimum for students learning.
    Better tell that to the kids of Singapore almost on the equator with high humidity heat all year round who are consistently in the top three countries in the world for scholastic results. Rated by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Singapore students are tops mathematics and third in science and reading.
    Imagine if they lived in an optimum climate.
    Truly every day in every way the climate BS grows ever more elaborate and far fetched.

    • I live in Singapore and have 3 childern in grade school and there is no air conditioning in school, just fans. School results as said above is one the highest in the world.
      Also productivity in the work place is one of the highest in the world.
      Average temperature is 26-33c year round. As an American it did take me a year to get use to but for the past 14 years no problem.

      • Your right Eric, everything works here, and a beautiful city. The reason I live here.
        My reaction too, nonsense. If you wanted to pick at temperature it should be 22~24C.

      • CNC
        Obviously too productive. I’m checking Singapore’s OCO2 footprint right now. Ah, looks like you exceeded your carbon footprint allocation. Please send check to :
        Worldwide Foundation for Social Justice
        1492 Picadilly Lane
        London, England SW61AA

      • I am partial to 60F in the morning, 80-85 in the afternoon, low humdidity, and clear skies.
        And rain only at night.

      • Menicholas October 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm
        “I am partial to 60F in the morning, 80-85 in the afternoon, low humdidity, and clear skies.
        And rain only at night.”
        Yes, a nice climate but it would not keep the water above 82 so it would be much too cold to swim.

      • Another example-Haiti/Dominican Republic. I don’t live there, and did not know Dom. Republic climate so much cooler than Haiti. This certainly explains how Haiti’s climate so impairs productivity, even all that Clinton Foundation cash (?) didn’t help.

      • emsnews October 22, 2015 at 6:55 am
        “Hawaii.”
        As an aside, when I was first stationed in Hawaii I remember looking out the window in winter on a bright sunny day. I went outside and was surprised how warm it was. I couldn’t figure out why I was surprised, after all I knew I was in Hawaii. It dawned on me that my subconscious mind had seen the length of the shadows and associated those lengths to the temperature that I grew up with in New England. The shadows made it look like a crisp, cool October afternoon to my mind which then expected temperatures to be in the 50’s.

  11. Mmmmm Very interesting, from the study all offices and factories should be kept at a constant 13C. I wonder how we are going to achieve that without using electricity, renewables ,Birds muncher and friers, will not be sufficient to supply enough juice!!
    Paris or die!!!

    • Mareeba,
      You don’t understand. When all of us undesirables, have the courtesy to exit the planet, and leave it to the enlightened ones. Everyone can live in the ideal temperature zone and there will be no need for any artificial energy sources (assuming the enlightened ones can survive the freezing winter nights).

  12. Time for everyone to set thermostats to 55 deg F and get gov’t subsidies to pay electric bills for operating under optimal temperature.

    • Depends on the plant and its exposure. I had bad luck this Spring starting berry plants obtained through the mail. The first 3 weeks in May here (20 miles S of SFO) were consistently 42F min, 48F max, RH=100%, with a steady sea breeze. I think 50F+ and enough Sun to warm the soil is required to get most plants started. Established fruit trees will blossom and bloom with less, but the honeybees may not come out to pollinate.

  13. Tell that to Brazil. I do grant that there are quite a few issues there, nonetheless, it will give several current great powers a run for their money.

  14. If these clowns really believed this, they’d set their indoor thermostats to 55 F in winter if they live in cold areas, or crank down the A/C all year round if they live in hot areas.
    Are they doing this? No? Then they can just STFU.

    • No silly, it’s a YEARLY average of 55F. Wyoming’s yearly average is 45.6F….and that’s just way, way, way too productive of an environment for me. You must work yourself to the bone up there! *grin*

  15. “A new study claims that people who live in tropical climates can’t be as productive as people who live in temperate climates – that 13c (55F) is the optimum temperature for human productivity.”
    Should all offices have their aircon’s set to 13C to increase their productivity. In a good economic country at least half their workforce sits on their ass in a office and produce nothing at all except pollution of every kind. between 10 and 40% of their workforce works for the government at some level.

    • A new study claims that people who live in tropical climates can’t be as productive as people who live in temperate climates

      Next we are going to have a wet bulb temperature scare. When extratropical people can not be bothered to be afraid of +2C degree warming, they start to claim world poverty is caused by too hot tropics. So we need to cut emissions so that people in India can increase theirs without boiling themselves ‘in sustained wet bulb temperatures higher than +35C.’
      Anyway, what I think Africa needs is governments which are capable of building power plants and setting up electric wires so that air conditioning can be used in middle class working places, like factories, shops and offices. Electricity improves productivity in many many different ways, including making night work possible, but it also makes life just more bearable.

      • Hugs, electricity and television is a good population controller as well. It gives people something to do of a night instead of playing ten toes up ten toes down . I remember here in Australia the population spiked when we had rolling blackouts because of pay disputes.

      • Well said Hugs. I came here to drop some hit-and-run comment about optimal temperatures for wet or dry bulb humans, but you’ve put me into a serious mood.
        People who have grown up surrounded by continent spanning electric grids and treated drinking water need to spend a great deal of effort to imagine what ‘African normal’ is… where modern medicine has taken hold just enough to interrupt the cycle of disease and premature death in those populations… more people migrating to their cities… BUT the modern infrastructure that would also provide a stable existence to all of these areas is absent, not yet built. Why do Westerns (and Europeans) tend to think of Africa as a continent ‘needing medical assistance’ and a couple of solar panels on the roof that might run an apartment fridge and a LED light bulb. People whose own hospitals have 500kw standby generators think this. In Electricity in the time of cholera I speculate it it will (finally) be China that steps up and wires Africa into the 20th century. What a shame for US, if such was a priority we could have done with it by now.
        Take a look at Hans Rosling’s 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes – The Joy of Stats – BBC Four to see the interplay of “wealth” and life expectancy over time. In case you’re wondering why the life bubble for China took a sudden dive in 1959, that was Chairman Mao. Let’s not do that again.
        Which leads into Hans Rosling’s Child Mortailty, Family Planning and the Environment where it is revealed that in a progressively ‘modern’ world with low child mortality and family planning (by whatever means) women choose to have fewer children. The United States has achieved a fertility rate matching the replacement rate. To me this means that despite any political, ideological or religious mandates, folks with access to all the modern inconveniences are (naturally) gravitating towards a more stable population. If we could find a way to share our present level of infrastructure with the whole world in a clean and sustainable way, such as with grids powered by molten salt reactors, the greatest potential ‘threat’ of abundance — an over-abundance of people — would be pushed years into the future.

  16. There are quite a few (but much older) papers that have found that the productivity difference between tropical and temperate climes has to do with the need to over-produce and not directly with temperature. The need to overproduce and stash food for winter creates different behaviors and work ethics that do not exist in the tropics. Or so they say. Anyway, it is quite pretentious to claim that there exists an optimal temperature for human productivity without consideration for humidity because our body’s temperature control system is fundamentally based on sweating.

    • without consideration for humidity

      As I said, the wet bulb temp scare is behind the corner. It has been mentioned, soon MSM will take it.

  17. From the article,
    “If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated {absurd policies to slow} warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change {fanatics destroying the world economy}.

  18. It is interesting that within this “study” it was determined that 13 C is optimum, when about a century ago, that was what the global temperature was. We are now at 14 C globally and allegedly accelerating madly towards 16 C, globally due to too much man-made CO2 thrown into the atmosphere. Since homo sapiens originated in Africa, which is the hottest continent on earth, I wonder how this can all be reconciled?

  19. “…..roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as an annual average for a particular place. Once things get a lot hotter than that, the researchers add, economic productivity declines “strongly.”
    Does that take into account countries with air conditioning provided by cheap electricity rates? (Schools and factories that have air conditioning?)

  20. Well…. having worked in many office and lab environments I am pretty sure that setting the thermostat to 55F would cause “lots of complaining” (nice word substituted in that last sentence, i.e. quit yer “complaining”).
    I’m pretty sure that quite a few union labor contracts state a minimum working temperature and it’s quite a bit higher than 55F.
    So lets set the “Standard Ivory Tower” temp at 55F and see who squeals first…
    Cheers, KevinK.

  21. I function quite well in the summer time when temperatures are around 72F. When it gets warmer than this, I need more breaks and water and as a result my productivity goes down some. However, in the winter time when temperatures can go down to -40F, I stay in doors more so than going outside and find the optimal temperature inside for me to be around 76F and I would probably die in the winter time if I could only heat my home to 55F.

    • Funny, how that is, is it not?
      In summer, I am wearing a pair of shorts and a tee shirt and am too way too hot if the thermostat is any higher than about 75. 72 is nice, perhaps a tad chilly if I eat a popsicle.
      In winter, I am wearing wool socks, flannel jammies, and fleece top, and freezing my butt off at 72, while drinking gallons of piping hot tea and/or coffee.
      What up wit’ dat?

      • Some years ago I worked alongside someone who had previously been at a senior level in the UK gas industry. He told me that gas sales correlated more closely with the colour of the sky (grey v. blue) and the intensity of the light than with temperature.

      • “In winter, I am wearing wool socks, flannel jammies, and fleece top, and freezing my butt off at 72”
        I’ve learned that with forced air heating, everything else in the room (floor included) is much cooler than the setpoint (average) temperature. Try radiant floor heating. You’ll never go back to forced air again.

      • Marble tile floors…would have to rip up the whole house.
        Besides, those jammy times are relatively few here in SW Florida.
        They were a whole lot more frequent where I just moved from in Altamonte Springs.
        Now I have a little hot tub dpa thingy built into the swimming pool, connected to a rooftop solar heater, and a heat pump for when it is dark or cloudy
        I keep that puppy about 108, and sit in it in the morning, and evening, and lots of time in between.
        That hot water will warm a body up for quite a while.
        Jump in the pool if it gets too roasty.
        Live could be worse.
        Just do not tell everyone…this area is filling up fast again, back to pre bubble building rates and sale prices here…like nothing ever happened.
        Right now is splendiferously spectacular, weather wise.
        My biggest problem…I never feel like working…it is too nice outside.

  22. We knew it already, those superior races of the north … climate science now getting very interesting

    • ^Further evidence^ that traffy is really the Village Idiot.
      Air is denser at 55º than at 85º.
      Race to the corner lamp post. I’ll time you.
      Ready… Set… . . . GO!

  23. Yes, Humans evolved to function best at the warmer temperatures — but as we evolved so did our parasites and diseases. Hence populations living in these warmer climates tended in the past (and also tend today) to carry a bigger load of parasites and diseases, leading to lower productivity. The ancestors of those who went to live in cooler climates adapted faster technologically than our parasites and diseases could adapt biologically. Consequently these populations enjoyed generally greater productivity and also stronger selection for the human intelligence and social cooperation necessary to survive in a much more hostile climate. Of course with today’s modern medicine, we can head back south to enjoy the warmer climate while avoiding many of the parasites and diseases that made earlier populations living there so unproductive — if we can also avoid the spread of new diseases (like Ebola) from other species into ours…

    • Very interesting. This heat thing (very hot here in central Washington in July) is likely the reason I was visited by Giardia during August. My productivity went from high to zilch. Modern medicine, my wife thinks, saved me. I think I might have gotten better eventually. She did not want to wait.

      • A bout of Giardia is typical self-resolving. My family and I, and numerous friends have had Giardia and we have consistently taken no medicine to cure it. It goes away by itself. We came to conclude that fasting helped, however. At the very least, fasting from carbs. But ideally no food seems to help clear it.
        “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.” – Voltaire

      • indi says ” ideally no food seems to help
        Ondansetron (Zofran) will help keep food down, ’cause after a time with no food other issues begin. But what surprised me was the length of time it took for any throughput (bm) after I began eating again. A learning experience, big time.
        {Apologies to those doing the “let’s go 55” thing – maybe WUWT can do a post on “WIN” next.}

    • It is all very simple. When it is cold, you want to warm up chopping firewood, running around instead of walking slowly, etc.
      In hot places you want to snooze in the afternoon in a hammock which was invented for just that many moons ago by enterprising humans.

  24. “The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960,”
    What? Such a long period in the development of civilization, it must be true. / sarc

  25. that’s bullsh!t.
    try to grow tomatoes at 13 degrees.
    of course people are more productive because they will f cking freeze to death.
    why are populations greater in warmer climes?

    • A) The study looked at outdoor average temperatures. 13°C might give you tomatoes for a week or two, that’s about what we get in New Hampshire.
      B) The study looked at human productivity, not tomato plants.

  26. Interestingly enough, some desert tribes – Tuareg, Bedouin, for example – wear black robes in the desert. Possibly apocryphal saying “If I’d known it was going to be this hot, I would have worn a thicker robe.”
    All this comes with significant caveats, but is true nevertheless.
    All is not as it seems on first glance, possibly.
    Cheers.

    • Do you know how hard it is to keep your whites bright in the desert? Of course everything is black! It hides all stains and makes you look thinner too. “They say the camel adds ten pounds”….or was that camera…I forget. (sarc)

      • It’s easy to keep them at their whitest, with All Tempa-Cheer!
        Of course, most of the time you can only get them dry cleaned…you know…on account of the no water…um, nevermind…

      • And what is up with that dry cleaning, anyways?
        I mean, what cleaning process does not involve a liquid?

      • Dry cleaning is hanging the item on a clothesline and beasting the dust out of it (to the hillbillies around here).

      • Menicholas-Sand blasting? Perhaps that keeps their frocks clean? And it’s better suited (pun) to the term dry cleaning that actual dry cleaning is….because it’s not dry at all.
        Dawtgtomis-around these parts, we call that “waking up Grandpa”. 🙂

  27. Productivity drops off at my place if it goes over about 25C,…
    … because I’m heading off down the beach !! 🙂
    ps.. I like my work room at around 20C.

  28. ps.. I DARE this non-thinking twerp to set their air-con to 13C.. all year round. !!
    (think of the CO2 power bill in summer 😉 )
    I bet they have it set around 20C+/- a little bit.

  29. I believe it. I’ve long known that 55 degrees is my favorite temp for working moderately hard outdoors, and 71 is my favorite for sitting inside doing nothing.
    55 degrees (about what it is now) is my favorite temperature. It’s why I love Autumn and Spring so much.

    • You would fair miserably in Florida.
      But, as I tell all my northern friends, when they insist they like the changing seasons…that if you can get used to, and learn to love 35 degree rain for days straight, and the sun setting at 4:00 PM, just think how fast you could adapt to swimming in warm water and laying in the scorching sun in January?

      • Sorry, I don’t do lying in the Sun well. Too many more interesting things to do that entail things like climbing mountains and other energetic activities.

      • Yeah, I could get used to that for a while to. But I am stuck back East, in Terra Flatta.
        I love the mountains, and canyons too for that matter…anyplace outside, and especially if there is good geology and such to check out.
        More of a hiker than a climber…not that I am afraid of heights, just falling.
        I already know very well how broken bones feel, and have come to terms with the fragility of the human body, even if you are tough as nails.
        Eckspeshally them ribs…broken ribs ache sumptin awful!

      • No kidding! One of the most annoying parts of Florida Climate is the summer days where this no difference in temperature and humidity if you are swimming in the ocean or standing on the beach but compared to -15 for a week or two in January/February it would be easy to get used to

  30. “unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality”
    – compared with the average global income after mitigation and the using of windmills etc for energy………….?
    They missed out the key phrase!
    Besides when I lived in Canada in the 1970’s the winter indoor temp was set between 20 and 25 C.
    This poor kiwi from temperate NZ where we don’t heat houses very much used to sweat his little heart out!
    Cheers
    Roger
    http://www.rogerfromnewzealand.wordpress.com

  31. My last job location before retiring was in China at a new nuke plant in a rural area not too far from Hong Kong. It was very hot and humid even when coming from the southeast. We also had the opportunity to visit Singapore.
    My theory is that people will be productive given a government system that promotes free enterprise and punishes corruption. Climate has little to do with it. Free enterprize areas of China are booming. North and South Korea would be another example of how the same culture can be productive and fail.

    • I agree.
      Russia falls into the cold zone that should be productive. It was anything but in the USSR days, ditto for the rest of the soviet-block countries.
      China was a non-economy, right up until they instituted capitalist reforms…then they became a powerhouse, and did so while the climate was changing and the oceans working their way up to a rolling boil!
      East Germany was a land of poverty, or so I have been led to believe, until reunification and an end to soviet rule…and now look at ’em.
      These stats are coincidences of circumstance to a large degree.
      But there may be some motivating force when you need to have enough food and fuel and clothing to make it through the winter or you and your whole family will starve and freeze after you have Donner Partied all of the weak and sick into chunky stew.

    • Give that man a cigar.
      All one needs to do is read history. The industrial revolution happened first in countries such as the UK, USA and Holland because they had governments that provided the protection for private ownership and companies that permitted businesses to flourish. The centrally planned economies of France and Spain and later the USSR and Red China without laws protecting individual and corporate rights did not prosper.
      I recall having an off the record chat with a Soviet era factory manager who we were trying to interest in automation and CAD. He explained the realities
      1) There was no incentive for him to take such a risk, he would receive the same pay and conditions regardless
      2) There was a massive disincentive. If things went wrong he would be sacked and likely jailed for ‘economic sabotage’. If things went right some senior apparatchnik would take the credit and rewards.
      We didn’t make that sale.

  32. Since underground temperatures are pretty constant around mid 50 degrees F, the human race will have to evolve into the Morlocks of H.G. Well’s novel, The Time Machine. – but that’s still 800,000 years in the future.

    • Here in SW Florida, ground temp is about 75. In West Central Florida, it is 72.
      I think that the ground gives a good measure of average annual temp over time.
      It varies with the latitude and altitude, and can be distorted by geothermal effects and fossil heat/coolth.
      (Yes, I said coolth…so sue me.)

    • Oh, not that far away – haven’t you seen the proposals for genetically engineering us to be better “humans?”

    • noaaprogrammer October 21, 2015 at 9:35 pm
      Since underground temperatures are pretty constant around mid 50 degrees F, the human race will have to evolve into the Morlocks of H.G. Well’s novel, The Time Machine. – but that’s still 800,000 years in the future.
      Ahem,,
      michael

  33. Having worked outside in rural Manitscolda, Canada, I can tell you we were motivated to get the job done.
    -20C is a temperature at which you want to keep moving, even if dressed for it. I still have my boots, good down to -70C.

  34. I’d better go crank the A/C up again – it’s 68F in here!
    (If you don’t hear from me again, it’s because the wife put me in a loony bin without Internet access…)

    • Thank you for the link.
      He presented the figures and data in this currently published article. He also answered questions after his presentation and certainly presented the other variables that may, in certain cases, deviate from his general conclusions regarding the impact of higher temperature.
      This is my first time listening to how an economist is looking at productivity with temperature.
      I enjoyed his presentation and saved the link.
      Thanks again.

  35. I think of this as the Peggy Tong speculation, since I first heard it mooted by Peggy. (I met her when I was at the U of Adelaide in the 1960s. She was an absolutely gorgeous Malaysian student, whom I totally failed to get off with.) Shortly after hearing it from her, I found a late 19th century version. But even the brain-boggling beauty of Peggy was not sufficient to stop me from doubting it. If cooler climates are so beneficial, why did so many civilizations grow up in hotter climes, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and Central America?

    • Thanks for the average-temperature map; interesting.
      As for dividing hot climate from cold, I suppose there’s a sense in which you’re right. Still, the map seems to place Topeka and Portland, Oregon, in the same class, whereas I’m guessing that few people would mistake a Topeka winter for a winter in Portland.
      After a few weeks, their summers are probably distinguishable, too.

    • I’ve never been to the 4 corners location of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, & Arizona. Based on the temperature driver, this spot ought to be one fantastic hub of economic activity, probably one of the most productive in the entire country.
      But then again mebbe temperature is not the main driver in human productivity (I would say it is not a statistical driver at all but I don’t want to be labeled a denier).

  36. Whah, can’t think none when it’s hot. Jessibel, fetch me another mint julep.
    Seriously, humans are children of the Pleistocene and we have this ridiculous notion that an ice age is a normal and desirable condition for the planet. Not. Throughout earth history ice ages have been occasions for mass extinctions and mayhem. Our particular ice age is no exception.

  37. Ah, Climatic Determinism, an idea dating back as far as Hippocrates. Some notions never die, it seems.

  38. I assume airline ticket sales were not used in this study as it would have shown that the local climate in Maui is far preferred over Tristan Da Cunha.

  39. Jeepers…..wimps….I have worked and flown planes in -50C……without windchill. I think the whole world should be +60F.

  40. Just had an eerie thought. What if climate nutter scientist wanna-be’s discovered a way to create a global climate of 55º everywhere in the world. The climate optimum according to the consensus. What would that do to crop yields? Corn would crater. Say goodbye to potatoes and tomatoes. Probably kale would survive just because nobody likes it as woould bean sprouts, but I’m pretty sure our feed crops would fail along with fed stock. Is this story a harbinger of an alarmist designer world where the excess people just die off and cease to be a problem? I think it is, and I’m not ready for a world without bananas and Kona coffee.

    • Crops such as barley, oats, potatoes, wheat as well as bother root crops do just fine. Soft fruits suffer from frost damage but berries grow just fine in Scotland.
      Average temperature in Southern England range from 19C in summer to 6C in winter and crop yields are pretty good.

    • Well dp, we might get to try out that kind of growing season temperature during the next few decades, if the historical effects of the Dalton minimum are repeated.

  41. The City-State of Singapore is nearly on the equator and has a year round average temperature of about 27 degrees C. Singapore is one of the most successful, wealthiest, hardest working, and best administered City-States in the World. This reveals that the basis of this most recent CAGW Fable is, yet again, nonsense, probably racist nonsense, too.

    • Sadly the bozos involved in producing and refereeing this self-styled “study” would dismiss your argument as cherry-picking a counter example. I suspect that these idiots are genuinely too thick to see that their own conclusions are ideologically driven donkey-shit.
      Kruger-Dunning in action.

  42. “We show that overall economic productivity is non-linear in temperature for all countries, with productivity peaking at an annual average temperature of 13 °C and declining strongly at higher temperatures. The relationship is globally generalizable, unchanged since 1960, and apparent for agricultural and non-agricultural activity in both rich and poor countries.”
    From a cultural and prosperity perspective, Australia and New Zealand are very similar. Australia’s average annual temperature at 17.3°C is significantly above the 13°C claimed optimum, while New Zealand’s average annual temperature at 12.2°C is close to the claimed optimum. However, contrary to the claims in the paper, Australia’s economic productivity is about 30% better than New Zealand’s !

    • In Australia is meaningless. The averaged figure of temps between the topical north and say Tasmania is 17.3c?? So another go at averaging the temp of your head in an oven at 100c and your feet in a freezer at 0c and saying 50c is just perfect?

      • I agree – the average is meaningless, and that is likely to be true for many countries. But that is what the authors have chosen to measure – the “average annual temperature of a country”. I chose an example that counter-demonstrates their claim.

      • NZ is not full of Aussies. But Aussies in NZ are granted PR after two years (Caveat; it was true about 5-10 years ago. Rules may have changed since) by default. Either way, Aussies get to apply for PERMANENT residency, WITHOUT having to apply for any other kind of migrant visa such as in Aus, general skills. However, since Feb 26th 2001, NZ’ers arriving after that date are temporary residents in Aus on a 444 category visa, granted upon entry, revoked upon exit. You can thank Helen Clark for that!
        So, NZ’res are second class “residents” and pay full tax when working. A child born to a NZ’er here in Aus is a “NZ’er”, and thus is a “temporary resident”. Go figure!

    • And that is an average calculated from ~112 ground based devices (Some ever used before the 21st century). That is 1 for every 68,500 square kilometers of the landmass Aus.

    • Most of the comments here have been about temperature, but you really need to look at the other variable in their equation – GDP. For the U.S. it is a fake number.
      For 2014 total Fed Govmt spending = $3,504 Billion of which $483 Billion was borrowed. $483/17,420 = 2.77% of GDP is the Fed’s spending borrowed money out of 2014’s 2.4% growth.
      For 2013 total Fed Govmt spending = $3,509 Billion of which $690 Billion was borrowed. $690/$14,100 = 4.9% of GDP is the Fed’s spending borrowed money out of 2013’s 2% growth.
      http://www.heritage.org/multimedia/infographic/2014/12/the-federal-budget-1994-2014
      Since the Feds spent this money, that means 2.77 percent and 4.9 of our GDP was spending borrowed money and shows up as current growth in GDP. When it is paid back, it is not considered GDP and no effect is made. So not only are the Feds putting your kids and grandkids in debt, they are stealing their GDP growth.
      Now look at some of the fudging going on with other factors going into GDP, since all growth over the last years has been on borrowed money.
      In this chart, PCE dwarfs everything else. If you just look at the BEA’s numbers you see that personal consumption expenditures in the second quarter were running at a $10 trillion annual rate, 70.7% of the $14.1 trillion GDP figure.
      But when you actually look at the detailed breakdown of PCE, you get a much different picture. I divided PCE into five categories
      The first category includes household spending on goods and services which are primarily domestically-produced. That would be things like food, recreation, haircuts, utilities, legal fees, airplanes, auto repair, and so forth.
      This category—roughly $4.3 trillion, or 30% of GDP—is all ‘pocketbook’ expense. Households lay out money, which primarily goes to support domestic production and employment.
      Second category: Import-intensive goods. These are items such as clothing, personal computers, cell phones, televisions, toys, sporting goods, cars, gasoline, and so forth. These are items where a substantial amount of production is done abroad, either directly or indirectly.
      For such import-intensive goods, a $1 of consumer spending does not correspond to a $1 of domestic activity. If you buy a shirt or a laptop which is made overseas, much of your money supports economic activity in China or Taiwan, not the U.S. This category is worth $1.7 trillion, or 12% of GDP.
      Third category of PCE—“imputed services.” What this means is that the BEA assigns a number to certain economic activities, even though no money actually changes hands. The two most important imputed services are “imputed rental of owner-occupied nonfarm housing” and “financial services furnished without payment”. Respectively, these are the money you supposedly pay yourself to live in your own home, and the money you supposedly pay the bank for such services as free checking (by accepting lower or no interest on your demand deposits).
      This category—worth $1.5 trillion or 11% of GDP

      Are you saying you didn’t know that over 10% of GDP is a rent payment on the portion of your paid for house? It does.
      category—healthcare goods and services, including hospitals, drugs, doctors, nursing homes, and health insurance. Because of the vagaries of national income accounting, most of the money that the government pays for Medicare and Medicaid, and that businesses pay for employer health insurance, shows up in the PCE category.
      To put it another way—if Medicare pays the hospital $25 K for your father’s knee replacement, that money shows up as personal consumption expenditures. If your company health plan pays $30K for the birth of your son—that counts as PCE, even though you never see the money.
      The healthcare category totals roughly $2 trillion, or 15% of GDP. But in fact, only about (roughly!) 15% of healthcare spending is “out of pocket”. The rest comes from government or through employee health plans.
      final catch-all category, which I have labeled “social services, religious activities, R&D, and other similar activities.” This category includes spending by religious groups, such as the Catholic Church. It includes community food and housing relief. It includes R&D spending by private educational institutions, like Harvard. It includes social advocacy groups, like Greenpeace. It includes (I’m relatively sure) spending by political parties—Democrats and Republicans alike.
      In other words, this wonderful category—totaling about $400 billion, or 3% of GDP—includes all sorts of spending which could be described as “social” rather than “individual”. And it’s funded by individuals, government, charitable contributions, and investment income.
      So when I added this all up, I got that households actually lay out about $5.5 trillion a year which drives domestic economic activities—about 40% of GDP.

      http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/08/get_it_straight.html
      Only Government accounting has more made up numbers than AGW & cimate change.

  43. Are these people really scientists and has the profession sunk so low in reality or is this a media distortion?
    Have they not even seen the reports on immigrants from various places and seen that the dominant factor in their education based on purely average figures here is the racial background with Asians working extremely hard and the Africans really making little or no effort compared to the typical UK child?
    Productivity is measured in terms of value of product that means that technological superiority is the dominant factor anyway.
    Could it also be that people take more holidays in good weather as well might just have a tiny bit to do with it as well?
    Talk about facile over simplification based on pre conditioned ideas. this is possibly the most pathetic research in a long time from the clips reported here.

  44. Average annual temperatures by country, and their per capita GDP ranking:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_average_yearly_temperature
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita
    Countries with 3-bears-optimum average temperature (12 C – 14 C) and corresponding per capita GDP ranking:
    12.6 C Afghanistan- 161
    11.95 C Azerbaijan- 68
    13.45 C Italy- 32
    13.55 C Monaco- ???
    13.05 C Myanmar- 134
    13.3 C Spain- 33
    12.05 C Uzbekistan- 127
    Countries with highest per capita GDP ranking, and their average annual temperatures:
    1- Qatar 27.1 C
    2- Luxembourg 8.65 C
    3- Singapore 26.45 C
    4- Kuwait 25.35 C
    5- Brunei 26.85 C
    6- Norway 1.5 C
    7- UAE 27 C
    Based on this data, the correlation between average annual temperature and per capita GDP is:
    dead certain
    absolutely settled
    highly predictive
    🙂

  45. Problem is in most areas where you might have an average of 55F over a year, you are stuck shoveling snow and scrapping ice for half a year…

    • My 75% Swedish genes tell me that’s a ridiculous claim and remind me I turn on my office fan around 74-75F.
      OTOH, in my software engineering career, I’ve found my productivity was coupled to my Coca-Cola intake. Near as I could figure, such mental work needs sugar (brain fuel), caffeine (stimulation), and cold (cooling). CMU, MIT, and Stanford all discovered Coke is it. Pepsi isn’t, I concluded Coke tastes enough better so I could drink 3-4 bottles per day without getting tired of it.

    • Depends on humidity. 77 and 100% humidity, line we have at night in Summer here in Florida, is very very hot and sticky.
      77 with 50% relative humidity… is very pleasant.
      Giving a temp alone is meaningless.

      • Living 50 miles north of St. Louis i can identify with any combination of temp & RH. We get just about everything (short of full-fledged hurricanes) sometime during the year, depending on originated from.
        Right now we are getting resort conditions, 55-80F and low humidity. After being well surplussed with rainfall early in the growing season we are now on the drought map. It’s a perfect harvest and the dryers are unneeded, saving tons of CO2 not burning gas. My corn field yielded around 60 bushels/acre this year.

  46. I think it’s a brilliant scientific breakthrough. It’s well known that queenslanders are stupid, and get stupider and stupider the further north you go. The right temperature is Sydney, north shore. But why are Tasmanians so stupid? It needs a bit more work.

    • Hey, as keeper of http://www.john-daly.com/ I must protest. OTOH, didn’t start there:

      Originally from Britain, I came to live in Tasmania in 1980, settling near Launceston, and for the last 9 years have been one of the numerous `skeptics’ speaking out publicly against the Global Warming scare, which makes exaggerated claims that the earth will warm by +1.5 to +6 deg. C. due to an enhanced Greenhouse Effect.

  47. These researchers took the question “What is the correct or ideal global temperature?” & snaffled 55ºF I can tell you from personal experience that working outside when it’s just 12.77778ºC is downright chilly, because it could also be raining or it could be sunny, but either way, the economists at the University of California, Berkeley were not on the money with their paper.

  48. Take a good look at your skin and what you will see are lots of tiny pores , those are sweat glad’s which human developed that they could regulate their heat , these where an evolutionary adaption designed to help cope with life in a ‘warm environment’ form which they originated.
    Then ask yourself the question , although planet wide is it the cold areas of the warm areas which have seen most human development and to this day in which environment do we find the highest human populations , something that can only occur if environmental conditions are favourable?

  49. OK. I Know The Klymit Change Research Hall Of Fame Stupidity Section Is getting overcrowded so we shall put this one in The New and Gobsmackingly Stupid Section and there it goes. Rockets to Number One and with a Bullet.

  50. ” I’m concerned that this study may be ignoring a lot of political and historical context. If an equivalent study was performed in the age of the Roman Empire, when much of the world’s economic activity centred on warm countries like Italy and Egypt, it seems likely that the calculated “optimum economic temperature” would have been significantly higher than 13c (55F) ”
    Yes, the causes are cultural, a factor they seem to have inexplicably missed. Long before Rome got going, Western civilization started in hot places, the Nile and Tigris valleys, and the most advanced nations remained in a bubble around north Africa and the Middle East, then Turkey and Greece (as measured by writing and cities), for a couple of thousand years even before the rise of the Etruscans (precursor to the Romans).

    • If we “believe” “Lucy” ~4.5ya is a root ancestor, in a region very warm (Northern Kenya/Southern Ethiopia today) then warm was good.

    • There are some elevated cloud forests where the temp is nearly constant, day and night, year round.
      Think Costa Rica.

  51. A more accurate study would compare productivity in San Francisco or Seattle with San Diego or Los Angeles. I bet there is almost no difference.
    Stupidity and make work of the highest order.

  52. This must be why a warm country like Australia has a lower GDP/capita than a relatively cold country like my Slovenia! People just get lazy in warm weather!
    Ooops, but it’s the way around: Australia (46,550 US$) has a HIGHER GDP/capita then Slovenia (29,867 US$). Ah, but that’s an anomaly.

  53. This was the basis of the old “White Australia Policy” a century ago .
    Racist propaganda.
    In rich successful Singapore, the research showed the temperature was 75DegF

  54. The study may be flawed, but not for the reasons you give.
    1) If you want to minimise the impact the economic cost of temperature rise by saying the economy is growing anyway, you can do exactly the same for the costs of mitigating temperature rise. So what if carbon taxes cause a reduction of 23% GDP by 2100 if we are growing at 1% per year?
    2) Conditions that are optimum for pre-industrial man are not necessarily optimum for industrialised production. The argument that we don’t need clothes when it is warm categorically does not mean that people are not more productive when it is mild. Looking at the average temperature map posted by P. Wayne Townsend above, the optimum runs through Europe, Japan, China and the USA. Italy looks to be smack in the optimum zone, so the Roman empire may (or may not) have had the same optimum temperature, but it was probably not too far off.
    3) Look at what they did. This was “a historical, economic analysis that culls data from 166 countries over half a century, analyzing GDP per capita against temperature fluctuations that the countries experienced.” This is absolutely not saying individuals work best at 13°C. So any talk about setting thermostats has just missed the point completely. Also picking out exceptions does not invalidate the conclusion. Sure, Singapore does well, but that does not invalidate the conclusion that, all else equal, it would do even better economically if it were a little bit cooler.
    4) The conclusion comes with a very important caveat: “If future adaptation mimics past adaptation…” There is a big IF there. It seems quite likely that if we compare adaptation from ancient Egypt to current day, then probably adaptation in the distant past was not the same as adaptation in more recent history. This study looked at pretty recent history. Even if their study is totally valid, future productivity may not follow the same path. However, something fairly important would have to change to get us off the current adaptation course.

      • No, rd50, comments here are not “complete nonsense”.
        You want nonsense, listen to the alarmist cult. You will get your fill of nonsense.
        There has been NO global warming for almost twenty years now! That fact flatly contradicts everything the climate alarmist crowd has been claiming, and this ’13º’ claim is just more of the same pseudo-science.
        The biosphere is now at the cold end of the geologic temperature record:
        http://www.kogagrove.org/sams/agw/images/paleomap.png
        For a hundred million years the planet was 10ºC warmer than now. Life evolved in much warmer temperatures, just like life evolved in much higher CO2 concentrations.
        This 13º nonsense is just a continuation of the Narrative. They will ‘Say Anything’ to promote the debunked global warming scare. But intelligent, rational readers who think for themselves know that the planet is continuing one of the mildest global temperature records ever recorded.
        A change in global T of only 0.7ºC is almost completely unknown in the entire geologic record. It’s hardly a wiggle! That is as close to flat as anyone can find. What do they want? A 0.00ºC change??
        You know what? If that 0.00ºC change had happened, they would find some way to claim it was caused by global warming. That’s how ridiculous their arguments have become.
        The whole “carbon” scare is based on a giant head fake: they will take any event, and twist it around to try and show that something must be done!! Nonsense. Real world observations show conclusively that human CO2 emissions simply do not matter:
        https://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/image266.png
        In any other field of science, if those putting forth a conjecture such as “CO2=AGW” had been that wrong, for that many years, they would be laughed out of their laboratory and their university. Their alarmist predictions have failed miserably; all of them. No exceptions.
        So now some grant chasing prevaricators are claiming that a degree or two of temperature makes a big difference. That unproven, preposterous claim is plainly ridiculous. Many commenters here have pointed out civilizations and cities in warm regions that falsify that claim. As Albert Einstein said, being wrong once is enough to falsify a claim. But the alarmist crowd has been wrong repeatedly. In fact, they have never been right about any of their scary scenarios.
        Climate alarmists have never made a scary prediction that has come true, from Polar bears to accelerating SL rise to toad decimations to runaway global warming itself. And they completely disregard the past century, which was as as close to a “Goldilocks” climate as anything in the entire geological record:
        http://i1.wp.com/www.powerlineblog.com/ed-assets/2015/10/Global-2-copy.jpg
        They’re lying, folks. They’re lying for money, for political power, and for self-aggrandizement. But their motives don’t really matter. What matters is that they are lying. Remember: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus. You can’t trust them any more.
        I understand well paid scientists lying for those reasons; they’ve sold their souls for money. But what I cannot understand are the lemmings posting in support of nonsense like this ridiculous claim.
        What do they get out of it? Money? No.
        Power? As if. Those fellow travelers will be jettisoned and/or eliminated as soon as their useful-fool function is no longer needed.
        Self-aggrandizement? Here?! They are properly ridiculed here for trying to promote something no one has even been able to measure! You can’t be much more foollish than to try and argue for something on the internet’s Best Science site that can’t even be quantified.
        No wonder the climate alarmist clique — which used to be willing to debate its position — now hides out from any fair, moderated debate in a neutral venue. They’ve lost every debate they ever entered, but at least they used to be willing to try.
        But no more. Because they lost all their past debates, charlatans like Mann and Trenberth hide out in their ivory tower, happy to let the eco-lemmings do their debating for them.
        Can you imagine how hard they would be spanked in public if they debated now? Mann, Trenberth, and anyone on their side would be thoroughly humiliated trying to argue that the ‘runaway global warming’ scare is still happening.
        Kevin Trenberth is even claiming that the Scientific Methoid must be turned upside-down, and that skeptics must now be forced to prove a negative: that the onus of the climate Null Hypothesis should be on skeptics, instead of on those actually promoting his ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ conjecture. Feynman, Langmuir, Popper, Crichton, and even Kuhn would be spinning in their graves at the current perversion of ‘climate science’.
        So instead, they have their clueless lemmings argue for them. That way they can distance themselves from the same enviro-crowd when the heat is turned up.
        As many readers have pointed out over the past several years, the ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ scam is the biggest hoax in human history. Its purpose has nothing whatever to do with science. Rather, it is a means to an end: ‘carbon’ taxes, world government, and Plato’s ideal society, with the elite (including those same scientists, and your ‘World Bankers’) ruling over the subservient military, and all of them ruling over what the old Sovs called the ‘proletariat’. And folks, you are the intended proles.
        2 + 2 = 5… if you believe.
        */rant*

        • The True Believer
          Hoffer
          A good reread.
          Again paraphrasing
          Followers in the mass movement are seduced not to a new truth but to the illusion of a new truth. The seduction is a result of unfulfilled happiness. Anything, to divert from the previous failed happiness.
          Done paraphrasing
          So why now ?
          Why a suck into the new mass movement ?
          Could it be that the up in coming leaders born and raised of the most prosperous time ever grew disillusioned with what wealth brought ?
          Swinging like a pendulum running away from its reflection it rejects the prosperity of its youth and embraces the opposite in a manic attempt to be happy ?

      • dbstealy’s comments are right off topic, even if they are on the button. What was human productivity over the period shown in the geological temperature graph?

          • And here is the winner for most often abused fallacy category (the frog also saw it)
            “seaice:
            dbstealy’s comments are right off topic, even if they are on the button. What was human productivity over the period shown in the geological temperature graph?
            DB replies
            seaice,
            No, they’re not off topic — as we see from the subsequent comments. You just don’t like having the plain truth force-fed to you.”
            Correlation is not causation (CnC).
            It’s as if a sickness has infected the population. Never seen anything like it in my lifetime. It’s seemingly everywhere.
            It’s often accompanied by its friend ad hominem. He typically shows up after you try to treat the CnC with pressure to provide replicable evidence. Takes on versions of this :
            “Oh yeah, you don’t care about mankind like I do. Your a heartless prick who isn’t interested in others.”
            Where do you go with that type of repeated pattern ?

      • The post is about human productivity. A graph showing global temperatures going back 4.6 billion years is not relevant when modern humans have only been around for a few tens of thousands of years. The graph cannot say anything about optimum temperature for human productivity because humans were not around for most of it.
        Knute, can you clarify the CnC fallacy demonstrated in your quotes?

        • Seaice
          I made my comment based on the general pattern of conversation concerning CAGW.
          Your science based example is a good one. There are others. I am in agreement with your example. Do you still want further articulation from me ?
          Ultimately, what I think you’ll see is a conceptual phrase called “insitutionalized disparity”. Effectively, thru codification, a protected class will be able to assert that the disparity in their standard of living is due to their CO2 production burden (as opposed to consumption). This is an extension of the correlation not causation fallacy that I referenced.

    • It is not a matter of being flawed or not. It doesn’t matter if it is perfectly true. This paper hits the sweet spot of being so incredibly and insultingly stupid that anybody with half a brain will not be able to raise an eyebrow muscle in response. For them, to attempt an explanation would be to commit existential suicide. The slightest illumination of this level of puerility dangerously exposes the thoughtful to the risk of psychosis due to the direct contact with the absurdity of reality.

      • I don’t understand how it can be unimportant if the paper is pefectly true. My interest is broadly truth seeking. If this is true, then it is important.

      • seaice, in this case, the truth of the matter and its importance are mutually exclusive by definition. If there really truly, absolutely, positively is a correlation between global “average” temperature and economic activity then all bets are off. Forget everything you ever knew about anything at all and buy a thermometer! Sincerely, faithfully Scott W Bennett 😉

      • Scott Wilmot Bennett. “If there really truly, absolutely, positively is a correlation between global “average” temperature and economic activity then all bets are off.” I don’t quite know where you are coming from. If the paper it true, then there is such a correlation; you claim that would mean “all bets are off”. How can it then not matter if the paper is true?
        Do you mean that the paper is unimportant because it obviously is not true?

  55. News reports today down under talk about the warmest global September on record – about 0.9°C higher than the long term September average. No mention of how much higher than the previous record. A closer look at the NOAA website reveals that it surpassed the previous record set last year in by 0.12°C (0.19°F). Error band appears to be +- 0.10°C.
    Somewhat O/T, but Is this an example of selective reporting designed to mislead, or just too inconvenient to report the full story.

  56. The title of the original article is: “Global non-linear effect of temperature on economic production”, in other words another hockey stick to beat the non believers.
    How does Bangalore manage to produce all that software in that heat? I put my air-conditioner on 28C (82 F) in summer and feel excellent.

  57. Historically, civilisation advances have been mostly in warm periods. Not difficult to see why in Mediaeval Northern Europe, but then Rome flourished in a warm period, and so did the Minoan civilisation. These were in areas that did not typically suffer harsh winters, and Crete in midsummer can be near tropical heat. Thus, it seems more likely that warm conditions suit human development.

  58. Projection-based tripe to ‘consolidate’ previous climate-related tripe. Nothing more or less. Orwell is alive and well!

  59. This is about the most rediculous “science” I’ve seen. Is the US society funding such science? And why are media printing this nonsense? It’s sad to see that the CO2 scare mongering seems to have no limits.

  60. Co2 is the knob that controls temperature. Temperature is the knob that controls human prosperity. Can someone please turn of these morons’ knobs off.

  61. They haven’t come close to explaining Roman productivity. How did the Romans do so much at well above 13C????

  62. It is appalling to see this type of shit published in Nature, when serious scientific researchers all over the world have to work really hard for years and be very successful and truly excel in their fields to get an article published in Nature. There is simply no limit to the damage that AGW theory can do to scientific standards and nobody is studying that.
    There are days were I doubt if science will be able to recover its former prestige. This is one of them.

    • I often feel the same way. I suppose the optimistic view is that we may end up with a wider understanding of what science really is, and what it is not.
      We also shouldn’t fund people to merely discover ‘new’ problems and prophesy doom, as opposed to funding those who tackle the more difficult task of discovering new solutions to old problems.

  63. “In the press release, the researchers further claim that warmer temperatures lead to poorer school results and more violence.”

    That seems like a cast iron case for more air conditioning for the poor people who live in places that are hot and have always been hot.

    • Perhaps they are making the case for forcing mid latitude countries to accept immigrants from the tropics without limits…climate refugees anyone?
      There were none, so they have had to invent them!

  64. I highly doubt the person who thinks 55 is the optimum temperature to live in keeps his house at 55 degrees in the winter.

  65. I wish that I could say that this is the dumbest piece of pretended “science” that I have ever encountered, but sadly, as someone who once listened to BBC radio and read the Gaurdian, I was introduced to several such fallacious “correlation therefore causation” papers every week for many years.
    They will simply never grasp this simple correlation/causation principle and therefore they will never stop churning out such donkey-poop.
    However, it will amuse everyone to know that I have in the last 90 seconds since reading the abstract, constructed an alternative paper which leaps to an even more impressive conclusion using an even more clear-cut correlation. (I worked out the exact correlation using my mind. But I will leave the calculation as an exercise for readers.)
    Here is my abstract: (satire)
    Growing evidence demonstrates that countries where there is a high level of Nordic/Aryan genetic influence have prospered during the post-industrial era. Whilst other countries have not benefited from the Nordic/Aryan influence and have continually suffered from civil conflict, govt. corruption and poor social and working conditions.
    In this study, we assessed the influence of Nordic/Aryan genes, by using melanoma incidence as a proxy.
    Incidence of melanoma is assumed to associate with light Aryan skin type.
    Our study demonstrated a strong correlation (p<0.05) between melanoma rates and national GDP.
    The chart of melanoma incidence is included below.
    We feel that it speaks for itself, and hence we include no further data or discussion:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanoma#/media/File:Worldwide_Melanoma_of_Skin_Cancer_Incidence_-_2008_Globocan.svg

  66. Wait til the disparate impact folks get a load of this. The whole planet is anti-brown, black and muslim, but capitalists exploit it by keeping them extra unproductive. Oh, wait …

  67. “Suggesting that productivity inevitably drops off, as we approach our physiological optimum environmental temperature, in my opinion is just plain silly.”
    Regarding this bit, I wonder if it is that silly. Consider why you don’t see siestas in northern Europe – you don’t have a climate that’s suited to taking said siestas. So, if the weather is usually cold and chilly and so on compared to our optimum temperature, then wouldn’t you see more work going on? People in sunny Spain etc can live a more leisurely lifestyle because they don’t need to afford all the heating of people in Sweden, etc.
    Of course, this will be very much complicated by culture, but the researchers may not be entirely wrong as to the relationship between economic productivity and temperature.
    (And finally, I’ll note that I’m steering clear of whether the Swedes or Spaniards in my example have the better deal – that’s mere opinion 🙂 …)

  68. A nonsensical study. This study’s conclusions are contradicted by empirical observations. Since the invention of residential heating and air conditioning systems, people with access to affordable energy choose to live and work in spaces with an average temperature of 72F or 22C. Humans don’t feel the air temperature, they feel the loss of heat from their bodies, and 22C feels comfortable to most people.
    Oh, and 13C? That turns out to be the average outdoor temperature in California. Coincidence? The researchers live in California.

  69. It seems to me that the focus in climate research is not to find the optimum temperature for the biosphere, but to find the optimum hype to make funding of research sustainable.

  70. It is sad that this is what passes for science nowadays. It is nothing but grade A agenda-driven pseudoscientific grant-grubbing pablum. Their “conclusions”, which are based on false assumptions were predetermined. The idea of an “ideal” average temperature is moronic to begin with. We adapt. Always have, and always will. History, and common sense tells us that we do better during warmer periods, and fare worse during colder ones. And it is wealth that gives us an even greater ability to both adapt and thrive, and wealth is the very thing these cretins want to deprive mankind of, via making energy both more expensive and less reliable.

  71. The productivity of a country is the result of hundreds of factors working together over 100’s of years.
    Only a climate scientist would even attempt to simplify it down to a single variable.

  72. Optimal yearly average is 13C. How do you account for seasonal variation? Some places the difference between summer and winter temperatures are a lot higher than others.

  73. Who says it is any individual’s best interest to work even harder? Or put another way, while it may be in the best interest of an employer to overwork their forces, it’s probably not in the best interest of the individual worker. I remember some years ago reading that the average carpenter only got to draw three years of pension before they died. Maybe working in a warmer climate at a more reasonable pace would be better for each individual. Productivity is a management word. Or a soil and farm word. I’m happy to work hard and always have. Just doesn’t seem right, though, to quantify human existence by telling me that colder is better. For whom? My tomatoes, yes. More than my normal 12 hour day? Not so much.
    pbh

    • I recently lost a major contract and another was greatly reduced. I realised that I could sell my assets, pay off my debts, and retire at 50, instead of panicking. Best thing that ever happened to me, apart from all the other best things. I don’t have much money, but I don’t have to work. And I’m in the tropics, with a year-round swimming pool. I can’t see how that could be bad, now!

  74. “If future adaptation mimics past adaptation, unmitigated warming is expected to reshape the global economy by reducing average global incomes roughly 23% by 2100 and widening global income inequality, relative to scenarios without climate change.”
    What a load of BS!
    These folks need to go up to Northern Alberta in the winter and see how productivity is impacted when the temperature often reaches minus 40 C and work sites need to be “horded in ” to allow craftsmen, who are all bundled up in felt lined boots, heavy gloves, and heavy down jackets, struggle to construct facilities which extract oil from the oil sands.

  75. Not too cold, not too hot… I think Goldilocks still had to put on a jacket to declare 13c (55F) ‘just right.’

  76. What an absurd waste of resources to make an argument against KNOWN reality. These people need to be mercilessly mocked.

  77. Of course adversity, pain etc *ie COLD induces humans to be productive. Who the hell wants to live like that.! I live in the tropics and I is very happy. I would never live anywhere near Europe, Canada ect. Also we have the happiest people on earth so XX yours IPCC, nature ect LOL

  78. Well, based on this they can relabel all the people streaming from North Africa to the EU “climate refugees” thereby fulfilling a core prediction of the CAGW movement, rather than saying they are fleeing the war and instability brought about by US and European meddling in the area.

  79. The Jesuits in Brazil had constant problems trying to get the natives to wear clothes. There was no need for them.

    • I can sympathise. I keep a dressing gown for emergency use when the postie or similar has to come up the drive to deliver something. The rest of the time, it is shorts or nothing at all, I’m afraid. Why bother when you are in and out of the pool, and you have no neighbours?

  80. I have to agree.
    I do tend to laze about in my hammock under the mango tree, and occasionally dip into the pool to cool myself down. I’m not sure this is a product of the tropical climate, but just my inherent ability to gain joy from doing very little.
    In the words of AC/DC, “people say I’m lazy, but doing nothing means a lot to me”

  81. The headline could just as well have been…”A new study claims that people who live in tropical climates don’t need to be as productive as people who live in temperate climates.

  82. If we confine our economic observation to the US only, so how do they explain the falling productivity of the “industrial” northern states, and the recent booming industrial economies of the southern states? Us lazy ole southerners, we ain’t worth much in the way o smarts or work…. Right, tell that to Mercedes, Hyundai, BMW, VW, Honda, Remington, Boeing, etc., etc.

    • I would like to see a similar study that examined the capital investment per capita. Bet I know which end of the spectrum would show the most productivity. Idiots. “Over-educated fools” is what my dad used to call them. PhD…piled high and deep.

  83. Further, these IDIOTS seem to think energy resources used to manipulate the micro climate, e.g., heating and cooling, are not impacting the definition of “optimum”. I guess agricultural “optimums” don’t factor into the “optimum” for humanity.

  84. All Schools, Homes andOoffices should try reducing their temperatures to this ‘optimum’, and see how long it would survive, along with the credibility and popularity of the so-called researcher .

  85. I would like to see a similar study that examined the capital investment per capita. Bet I know which end of the spectrum would show the most productivity. Idiots. “Over-educated fools” is what my dad used to call them. PhD…piled high and deep.

  86. “optimum temperature for human productivity is seems to be around 13 degrees Celsius or roughly 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as an annual average for a particular place. Once things get a lot hotter than that, the researchers add, economic productivity declines “strongly.”
    What? So everywhere (North, South and especially in-between) is at the optimum and this is about to change?

  87. We should insist they set the thermostat for their COP21 meeting in Paris in December to this temperature.

  88. I can’t help but think studies like this are meaningless nonsense. The whole reason we humans are not naked and living in a small belt in the tropics is because we got smart and learned how to control our immediate environment with clothes, shelter and energy. That enabled us to live and thrive anywhere on earth (we go into volcanoes and the bottom of the ocean) and off (we go to the moon and eventually other planets). The local temperatures are meaningless unless you specify limits of clothes, shelter and energy . . . which really, there aren’t many anymore.
    The Greenies who obsess over temperature one must conclude would have us naked and constrained to those narrow belts in the tropics so that our use of energy won’t warm things too much and destroy the planet . . . a silly fear given we are moving out of an interglacial and back into an ice age. But even if we weren’t it’s still silly. What? We would be less productive? Isn’t that what they want?

  89. Climate scientists and their political and journalistic co-religionists in CAGW like to have their biggest conferences- usually twelve days each- in beautiful, remote tropical places with fabulous beaches nearby and lots of heat- Bali, Rio, Dubai, Cancun, etc. From now on, they should schedule conferences in cooler, more “productive” locations. Svalbard might be good.

  90. It is about time, for scientific inquiry into the question of the ideal climate. No efforts to “adjust” climate should ever be attempted until such information is clearly shown and supported by unambiguous data. This study is NOT it but hopefully will stimulate such research and inquiry.
    The next thing we need is a working and validated climate model. Only then, can we dare to consider climate or weather control. Until then, we should keep our hands in our pockets. GK

  91. Another “study” trumpeting conclusive results creatively extracted from inconclusive data. Never mind the sample period beginning 1960 is too short to generalize about relative “productivity” of human civilizations which have been widely dispersed over time and distance.
    Disregarding advancements by ancient high civilizations like those which arose in the fertile crescent, the Indus Valley, and China is academic criminal neglect. Or worse.
    All this “study” conclusively demonstrates is sorely lacking means to recover public funds from academic institutions sponsoring blatant fraud.

    • It’s the new IPCC model thermometer for temperature measurements. The ‘F’ scale is actual and the ‘C’ scale is what you use to log the data, that way there’s no need to adjust the data afterwords.

  92. UK workplace guidelines suggests a minimum of 16ºC or 13ºC if employees are doing physical work.
    Wiki:
    According to the West Midlands Public Health Observatory (UK) an adequate level of wintertime warmth is 21 °C (70 °F) for a living room, and a minimum of 18 °C (64 °F) for other occupied rooms, giving 24 °C (75 °F) as a maximum comfortable room temperature for sedentary adults.[4] At temperatures below 20 °C (68 °F), increased risk of death has been observed, and winter deaths reportedly rise at a rate of about 1.4% per degree below 18 °C (64 °F).

  93. Correlation is not causation.
    Is productivity higher because of a 13c temperature or does higher productivity happen to occur where the temperature is 13c for other reasons?
    A lot of productivity occurs in the US mid-west and great plains (breadbasket) because terrain, soils, water, and climate are ideal and humans are attracted to the area due to the ideal growing conditions. The high crop yields are due to favorable conditions, not because people are more productive at 13c.
    Productivity is likewise effected by technology. Humans are adaptable, largely through the use of energy. The South West could not developed to the extent it has without air conditioning.
    How did Burke, Hsiang & Miguel isolate temperature from the infinite other variables that can affect economic output?

  94. What about acclimatization? Working in the UK coal mines many years ago, I became accustomed to working in heat levels much higher than 13 degrees C, and shoveling up to 20 tonnes of coal each shift. A great deal of sweat was lost, drinking several pints of water each shift to replace that. Also in this age of machines now doing much of the manual work, there is a lot less chance of suffering heat stroke or other adverse effects because of the decline of manual labour – at least in the West.

  95. There’s very little that’s as lovely and delicious as the well-constructed, beautifully crafted expression of an abstraction.
    -William Rosen
    “The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention”
    New York, New York 2010.
    An excerpt—
    “This is why Rocket’s moment in history is unique. That soot-blackened locomotive sits squarely at the deflection point where a line describing human productivity (and therefore human welfare) that had been as flat as Kansas for a hundred centuries made a turn like the business end of a hockey stick. Rocket is when humanity finally learned to run twice as fast.
    It’s still running today. If you examined the years since 1800 in twenty year-increments, and charted every way that human welfare can be expressed in numbers— not just annual per capita GDP, which climbed to more than $6,000 by 2000, but mortality at birth (in fact, mortality at any age); calories consumed; prevalence of disease; average height of adults; percentage of lifetime spent disabled; percentage of population enrolled in primary, secondary, and postsecondary education; illiteracy; and annual hours of leisure time— the chart will show every measure better at the end of the period than it was at the beginning. And the phenomenon isn’t restricted to Europe and North America; the same improvements have occurred in every region of the world. A baby born in France in 1800 could expect to live thirty years— twenty-five years less than a baby born in the Republic of the Congo in 2000. The nineteenth century French infant would be at a significant risk of starvation, infectious disease, and violence, and even if he or she were to survive into adulthood, would be far less likely to learn how to read…”

  96. No wonder the world fell to pieces at the end of the little ice age — productivity all over the world plummeted as temperatures rose.

  97. If an equivalent study was performed in the age of the Roman Empire, when much of the world’s economic activity centred on warm countries like Italy and Egypt.
    ____________________________________
    And Syria.
    The Levant was perhaps the richest region in the Empire (outside Rome). It had the major cities of the Judaean Decapolis. It had the largest temple in the Empire at Baalbeck in Lebanon. And it had the most expensive temple in the Empire at Palmyra (which was destroyed just last month, by ISIS).
    The poverty of the region in our era was caused solely by the new Mos administration which took over in the 7th century and decimated and enslaved the populations. And thier long term mal-administration and over taxation led to further economic and population declines. Just in the region around Aleppo, the result was the 700 ‘Dead Cities of Aleppo’, which are still standing and still lie abandoned.
    R

  98. Wow! What a coincidence that 15C is just 1 degree less than the global average of 16C. We’d better cool the planet down to it’s 97% certainty ‘comfort zone’ of 15C.

  99. Does anyone know how much was paid to Marshall Burke, Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel for producing this idiocy masquerading as ‘science?’ [And who paid it?]

  100. More evidence that one can come up with whatever result they want with their research.
    And surprise, surprise, the WApost article was penned by Chris Mooney.

  101. I should submit a grant request for researching the same topic.
    Outline of experimental protocol:
    Conduct a survey of people from around the world.
    Survey questions:
    1) At what temperature do you feel
    – most comfortable?
    – most productive?
    2) What is your annual income?
    Bet I’ll get more accurate results than those Berkeley clowns. I also bet 55F will not be the most frequent answer. (Did these guys conduct their modeling in a wine cellar?)

  102. My first reaction was that this paper asserts that the Earth was too warm in the 20th century for “optimal” economic performance (20th c global average approx 13.9 C). But then I realized that taking out sea surface temps (not a lot of factories, farms or office buildings out there) reduces the relevant 20th century global annual average (land only) to about 8.5 C. And 2014 land temps were already 1 C above the 20th century’s chilly average.
    Thank God for global warming — soon we’ll all be rich!
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201413

  103. They forgot that higher temperatures also cause more body odor. Maybe clothespin manufacturers can get a subsidy?

  104. Winter time the house thermostats (7 zones) are set at maybe 64 F, 62 F at night. Sweater weather. 55 F is too cold. Jackets, sweaters, gloves, lap blankets. Ask anybody who has actually lived, camped, hiked, fished, or worked in 55 F.

  105. Singapore’s founding leader, Lee Kwan Yew, said that the biggest non governmental impact on Singapore was air conditioning:
    Question: Anything else besides multicultural tolerance that enabled Singapore’s success?
    Answer: Air conditioning. Air conditioning was a most important invention for us, perhaps one of the signal inventions of history. It changed the nature of civilization by making development possible in the tropics.
    Without air conditioning you can work only in the cool early-morning hours or at dusk. The first thing I did upon becoming prime minister was to install air conditioners in buildings where the civil service worked. This was key to public efficiency.

  106. One of the authors is a Berkeley economist, so hopefully they controlled for all the well documented factors which affect production – as in total factor productivity. But the references listed do not contain any obvious mentions of standard papers in this large literature, unless these have been incorporated into the climate economics papers listed. Unfortunately, with climate-related polemic research one fears the worst!

  107. Tough day facilitating a knotty issue with difficult people, but we broke thru with a critical thinking approach. Gives me hope.
    While at the table my mind drifted off to the wacko piece of optimum temp. I ended up thinking about what endpoint would/could/should be measured concerning “productivity”. As things have it, they had a guppy tank full with lots of little guppies. Not knowing these things, I asked, all things being equal, what is the optimum temp for a guppy pop explosion. Turns out something in the range of 74 to 78 works just fine.
    So, all things being equal, what is the optimum breeding temperature range for humans ?

  108. Seems like it would be VERY difficult to be productive if temperatures were never warm enough for most fruit and vegetables to produce seeds.

    • I know what temperature my current mate likes in order to bump uglies. I also know what foods my mate likes. If I was in copulation mode, I’d create a controlled climate that allowed me to get both. In a post CAGW reality, I’ll have to do that with minimal carbon footprint. Obviously, I’ve gone off on a tangent, but it does make me think hard about to what ends we are headed.

  109. History shows that farming technology leads development. If you can feed your community well, then free time for a well fed community leads to development in other technologies. Next to develop is military technology and many times have invaders then created an empire that reinvigorated development.
    Egypt, Babylon, China and India lead the way in good grain growing areas. Ancient Greece, Persians and Rome came next and they relied on imported grain. From then on, you get invaders from further north that could feed its people, grow a population and develop military technologies. After they were invaded by Germanic tribes, Mongols, Turks and the Norse, did the original areas of learning get another boost and the north develop arts and learning.
    Then in modern times, the development of grains that grow in colder regions (rye and oats) along with importation of wheat meant that a large population could be kept fed with food that could be stored in the north. The northern areas in Europe and N. America were better for growing other foods such as meat and dairy, with a lot of down time in the winter. I think this is where the big difference in the development between north and south came about when the industrial revolution started – a well fed population that was bored and a wealthy elite to sponsor learning and development of industry, who also needed a product to sell to the warmer grain growing regions. Then you get a the modern culture of value adding and need for order.
    Australia was then settled, and Sydney with a daily mean of just under 17°C is the premier city for industry and learning, with Melbourne a close second and having a climate close to that of Athens than Paris. A long last out of the capital cities is Hobart with a daily mean of 13!

    • There was a thriving human population in what is now Australia ~60,000ya. Temperatures didn’t seem to affect them at all.

  110. Clearly these globalist hacks haven’t read Jared Diamonds Pulitzer Prize winning work “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies”.
    Global, global, F-ing global! The word appears ten times in the abstract, five in the last two sentences of the drivelling tripe.

  111. so do we condemn the planet for failing to maintain the optimum temperature over its long pre-industrial existence – and should we now attempt to manipulate the weather/climate to that end now that we have become so powerful & infallible /sarc

  112. I spent a few years in northern Nigeria mapping the geology of large tracts of the country. I worked virtually every day during the dry season in dry savanna country in 40+C on one to two day compass traverses without an assistant. My field house was two round mud huts enclosed in an outer mud wall to make a race-track shaped thatch-covered structure. My most prized equipment was a deep, concrete bathtub that I asked to be filled for the evening before I returned along with a small bundle of sticks for cooking up my meal.
    A long lingering bath, a liter of tea (I only had a quart canteen of water for the day’s work – so much for everyone here these days hydrating themselves even if they are walking to the grocery store!). My first smoke of the day in the bathtub – “3-Rings” cigarettes, followed by my second and final meal of the day and I was rejuvenated. I spent the evening plotting geology on the base map and examining the load of rocks I had collected and put permanent labels on. Sleep came in minutes after getting under the mosquito netting. I was just as productive there as I was in northern Canada for many years. Ditto for developing a dimension stone quarry and sawing plant near Moshi, Tanzania at the foot of Kilimanjaro, evaluating lode and placer gold and tin in Benin and Togo years later. I got acclimatized quickly and was a mean, lean working machine from the Arctic Circle in Canada, the desert in Nevada and the equatorial band in Africa. Unremarkably, where I live, in my body my temperature averages 37C.

    • GP
      Ah, the puritan work ethic. While it may be a popular form of measuring productivity, it’s not for many others.
      It can be argued that many of our routines mimic certain primate behavoirs. Check out Macachiavellian Intelligence by Maestripieri. You’ll be lightly entertained.
      Certain monkey clans like the rhesus are happy to let up in coming lower status monkeys do the hard work while lounging around attempting to seduce females. And the females hedging their bets will mate with multiple up in coming monkeys … of course behind the bushes while other females distract certain males.
      The book is a good read because in addition to being well written, it allows humans like me to step outside themselves and see perhaps how others view the purpose of life.

      • Knute, thank you for your pleasant reply; I believe I would be entertained by this book. The work ethic is, of course, learned. If you have 100 ha wheat farm, well you do the work you need to do to harvest it. If you are a sailor, you can’t stop halfway. Mapping geology is not unlike that. I noted also farmers in Nigeria working from dawn to dusk.
        My obvious point was that the thesis of the article under discussion says more about its racist authors than it does about climate and productivity. Regarding more indolent clever monkeys, we in fact seem to have come from such a strain. Our inventiveness seems to be driven by the desire to reduce the work load and increase leisure. I certainly haven’t been constrained overly strongly by puritan ethics that would deny me the warm company of interested females.

        • GP
          Thanks for the kind acknowledgement. Collegiate banter is undervalued in a polarized society.
          “My obvious point was that the thesis of the article under discussion says more about its racist authors than it does about climate and productivity.”
          Point taken. I forget who quoted Hoffer here, but it spurred me to reread The True Believers. Also encourage this read as it does a fine job in trying to explain this concept of mass movements (re CAGW) and what may motivate them.
          After rereading the book, it dawned on me that the greatest period of economic wealth creation has perhaps unintentionally also created a new generation of disillusioned folks. These folks having been raised in this opulent time may have become disillusioned with the happiness it offered and were (are) susceptible to psuedoscience solutions to a new happiness.
          It’s a quick read as Hoffer was a no nonsense Longshoreman.

  113. What temperature do Marshall Burke Solomon Hsiang and Edward Miguel have their air conditioners set to at work?

  114. Are these people imbeciles… or do they think we are?
    Obvious warmista tripe trotted out just in time for the Paris climate-ogasm.

  115. The optimal human temperature is around 21 c 70 f, not many prefer it cooler, but most would probably prefer it a bit warmer.
    In winter most places around Earth away from the Tropics, are far too cold without keeping warm.
    The ideal optimum climate for humans would be somewhere like Tenerife. Maximum day temperatures between 18 c and 26 c all year round in Playa de las Americas. The temperature of 13 c would probably be closer to a preferred minimum, never-mind a mean. A mean of 13 c is far too cold for humans to live in without keeping warm.
    http://www.weather2travel.com/climate-guides/spain/canary-islands/tenerife/

    • The ideal temperature for humans is secondary to the ideal temperature of our food source. We will/have adapted to our food source as do all critters. Whatever increases our food supply is optimized by humans NOT the other way around. GK

      • The largest biomass source from plants were during the warmest periods of Earth’s history hundreds of millions of years ago, with global temperatures close to the optimal human temperature of 21 c 70 f now.

    • “The optimal human temperature is around 21 c 70 f, not many prefer it cooler, but most would probably prefer it a bit warmer.”
      Correct. people set their AC and heating systems for their comfort and productivity indoors and it tends to be 68F-74F, more or less.
      This junk science is one big fat dollop of the logical fallacy of ‘causation from correlation’.
      So why did civilization spring and get more productive in colder climates? It may be simply that we developed heating technology at the dawn of civilization, and air conditioning only in recent times, making it easier for people in colder climates to ‘compete’, but not those in extra hot ones.
      But it’s more than that of course. The levers of economic growth are related to law, culture, economy and technology.
      The hot areas of the mid-east, north Africa and south Asia were plagued with the historic legacy of Islam, whereas much of the rest of the world outside of Europe, India and China were primitive societies.
      The one succeeding dominant culture was Western Civilization, and all of global civilization today is now tied to an engine based on western European civilization and the era of colonialism, the rise of market economies, industrialization (that began in England and was advanced most of Western European and USA). I would argue that most of this is merely the correlation of the success of Western Civilization, rooted in temperate European nations, in particular Britain (but also Germany, etc.). That success was due to Christianity, the heritage of Greece and Rome, the development of western-based trade due to European discoveries and explorations, and the rise of industrialism and capitalism in places like England, and its adoption in the US.
      As for how former colonies evolved, the least populated areas were the ones that were the coldest (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, USA) and they adopted laws and cultures closest to the most successful nation prior to 1900, ie, Great Britain. Other colonies, ie, in Americas most adopted less successful Spanish heritage/laws/economy, Africa had indigenous populations who were colonized but ratained their culture, etc. So the world has evolved in such a way that the most successful economic and cultural models were adopted by an ‘Anglosphere’ of nations that for the most part have temperate climates, although you could live in Bermuda or the British Virgin Islands and enjoy British law and tropical weather.
      What if you took out the ‘exceptional nations’ of the Anglosphere? I would suspect the advantage of colder climate would still be there – Scandinavia vs Greece, Korea vs Laos, Argentina vs Guatemala- But it would be much less. if you further control for other factors, climate becomes less important.
      But here is the disproof of their thesis. There is one great nation, India, with a long history, that was colonized by Britain and adopted some of its laws while retaining much of its own culture. Now independent, India suffered under socialist delusions adopted from their colonizer Britain when it became independent in 1947. But in the late 1980s and since, India reformed their economy. They are now he IT back office for much of America’s high-tech industries. They are advancing in manufacturing, and growing at a pace rivalling China.
      India is growing faster than any European nation. It may well be in a generation, India’s per capita GDP will rival some poorer European nations, and its total economic output will challenge the EU itself. Indeed, for nations overall, it is the warmer nations near the equator THAT ARE GROWING FASTER and the 21st century will likely be the century when the warm nations ‘catch up’.
      We see the effect on a smaller scale in recent decades in the US. “Sunbelt” has beaten the ‘rust belt’. In jobs and growth since the 1970s. But there is a real explanation that has nothing to do with temperature. The northern industrialized states became ‘union shop’ states due to the influence of union voting blocs and union power, while the formerly less developed states in the south and west in the mid-20th century adopted ‘right to work’ rules that limit union monopoly power. The end result? ALMOST ALL US NET JOB CREATION SINCE 1980 HAS BEEN IN RIGHT-TO-WORK STATES.
      Does warmer weather create jobs? of course not, that’s just the happenstance of correlations of climate and cultural and legal factors.

  116. It takes only a moments thought to belie the lack of logic in this paper.
    Is Santa Claus not the most productive elf on Earth? And where on Earth does he dwell, and carry out his mammoth task? Would the North Pole not be one of the coldest places on the planet?
    What? You don’t believe in Santa? That’s ludicrous, if you “believe” in global warming.

  117. Mean annual temperatures in the regions of the most advanced cultures, wherever such cultures have existed for centuries, has varied a great deal, but these same cultures continue to advance despite the temperature, although climate does, naturally, have an impact, but is NOT the absolute determinant of the outcome of a culture.
    Human beings are not pond-scum that merely react to their environment; they are active, intelligent beings capable of reason and logical deduction beyond the influence of emotive and physiological factors.
    I think that these “academic” pea-brains have completely ignored the fact that the most advanced cultures are also the the most free, in terms of human rights and liberties, land rights, private property rights and so forth, and owe their existence to the Judeo-Christian (no, not Catholic, which is just paganism badged with christian sounding names and verbiage!!!!) religion upon which their laws that brought about such freedoms are based. Sadly, however, the roots of these cultures are dying and with that, so also the cultures that grew out of them. A quick survey of the locations of Judeo-Christian based cultures will likely correlate much more strongly with advanced societies (and not just technologically advanced) than does an annual temperature mean of 13 degrees Celsius.
    A good part of Africa, for example, meets the 13C annual average give or take a few degrees, but it is a basket case, and yes, lacks geographically extensive long time roots in Christianity. A large part of South America also fits the temperature requirements of these “academic” dingbats but there is a great deal of superstitious pagan nonsense there, and much of what is passed off as “Christianity” in the mass media is really Catholicism and pagan rituals and superstitions, and we can see that to the degree that real Christ-believing Christianity has impacted the region, a similar degree of economic, technological, social and personal advancement and freedom also exists.
    Anybody with the clangers to investigate this honestly and without prejudice will find that what I am alluding to here is, by and large, generally true.

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