Claim: climate change will stunt Chinese manufacturing

From the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – SANTA BARBARA, and the “temperature in Chinese sweatshops may go up a degree” department.

Hot and bothered

Environmental economists studying the impact of climate change on manufacturing in China predict substantial losses by mid-21st century

To date, most empirical evidence on climate change impacts have focused on the agricultural sector. Little is known about the effects on, say, manufacturing in, say, China, which is in many ways “the factory of the world.”

In a new paper published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, UC Santa Barbara researchers shows that climate change will dramatically lower output for the Chinese manufacturing sector.

Using detailed production data from a half-million Chinese manufacturing plants in the period 1998-2007, the research team estimated the effects of temperature on firm-level productivity, factor inputs and output. They predict that by the middle of the 21st century, if no additional adaptations occur, climate change will reduce Chinese manufacturing output annually by 12 percent — equivalent to a loss of nearly $40 billion in 2007 dollars.

With the Chinese manufacturing sector producing 32 percent of national gross domestic product (GDP), this effect is equivalent to a 4 percent drop in overall Chinese GDP annually. Further, given that China’s manufacturing sector supplies 12 percent of global imports, the worldwide economic consequences may be substantial.

“Previous work has largely focused on how climate change may affect economic activity by lowering the productivity of workers,” said co-author Kyle Meng, an assistant professor of environmental economics in UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Department of Economics. “It is well documented that when it’s hot, people work less productively.”

The new paper, written with Olivier Deschenes, a professor of economics at UCSB, Peng Zhang of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (and a former Ph.D. student at UCSB) and Junjie Zhang of Duke Kunshan University in China, points to the effects of temperature on the productivity of capital as well. That is, increasing temperatures not only make workers less productive, they also make machines operate less well.

“In one particularly striking result, we separately examine temperature sensitivity between low- and high-tech industries in China,” Deschenes said. High-tech industries include those that produce medical supplies, aerospace equipment and computer equipment. “We typically think of these sectors as being capital intensive with indoor production facilities that tend to operate with air conditioning,” Deschenes continued. “We find that these industries are just as sensitive to extreme temperature as low-tech industries.”

According to Meng, the results suggest that if we are to reduce climate losses on manufacturing output, adaptation measures should not focus solely on reducing the sensitivity of workers to extreme heat, but also that of factory machines.

“More broadly, our paper introduces a new cost of climate change that hasn’t been documented before,” he said. “China is already doing a lot to reduce its emissions. These existing policies were put into place even without this new evidence on manufacturing sector losses. Given the importance of manufacturing for China, we hope our findings will help lead to more stringent Chinese climate policy.”


The paper:

Temperature effects on productivity and factor reallocation: Evidence from a half million chinese manufacturing plants


This paper uses detailed production data from a half million Chinese manufacturing plants over 1998–2007 to estimate the effects of temperature on firm-level total factor productivity (TFP), factor inputs, and output. We detect an inverted U-shaped relationship between temperature and TFP and show that it primarily drives the temperature-output effect. Both labor- and capital- intensive firms exhibit sensitivity to high temperatures. By mid 21st century, if no additional adaptation were to occur, we project that climate change will reduce Chinese manufacturing output annually by 12%, equivalent to a loss of $39.5 billion in 2007 dollars. This implies substantial local and global economic consequences as the Chinese manufacturing sector produces 32% of national GDP and supplies 12% of global exports.

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November 17, 2017 6:59 am

To quote Leif, correlation is not causation.
There are so many factors that impact industrial output, even if there is a correlation to temperature, it will be impossible to tease it out.

Duncan Smith
Reply to  MarkW
November 17, 2017 7:04 am

Reminds me of sitting in a sales meeting. When sales are good, everyone gets congratulated for working hard. When sales are down, it is due to market forces outside of anyone’s control.

Reply to  MarkW
November 17, 2017 11:57 am

Negative feedback?

The more China manufactures the more warming. The more warming, the less China manufactures. Problem solved/s.

Reply to  MarkW
November 17, 2017 12:57 pm

Oh, Mark, you’d be surprised what shatisticians can tease out of BS data.

Reply to  MarkW
November 17, 2017 1:56 pm

Is China actually warming up or is it just that Arctic nights are raising the global average? If it is just Arctic nights getting warmer I don’t think the Chinese will be affected too much.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  MarkW
November 18, 2017 5:05 am

Well now, iffen the authors of the study, Olivier Deschenes, Peng Zhang and Junjie Zhang, are silly enough to believe the entire world will be powered 70%, 80% or 100% by “green energy”, …… by the middle of the 21st century, ….. then of course they are also 100% correct about China’s decrease in manufacturing productivity.

“DUH”, there is no way in ell that 100% “green energy” is capable of powering HVAC systems 24-7 in manufacturing facilities.

kokoda - AZEK (Deck Boards) doesn't stand behind its product
November 17, 2017 7:01 am

Once every so often, I think this site is hosting a Comic-Con event. There just seems to be so many absolutely ridiculous GloBull Warming alarmist ‘studies’ that befit the exceedingly humorous Titles appearing in WUWT.

Good humor (hey, that was an ice cream bar).

Pop Piasa

My dad always laughed that the ‘Good Humor man’ who worked the Kirkwood MO route was the grouchiest old coot ever.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 17, 2017 9:21 am

I remember the guy. I Grew up there.

I keep a fork handy next to the keyboard so I can jam it in my leg when logging on and reading the parade of ‘academic’ alarmist insanity – just to make sure I actually am awake.

Duncan Smith
November 17, 2017 7:01 am

“climate change will reduce Chinese manufacturing output annually by 12 percent”

Anyone getting tired of winning yet?

Reply to  Duncan Smith
November 17, 2017 7:51 am

LOL….perfect……nope not me!

Reply to  Duncan Smith
November 17, 2017 10:48 am

And this reply from the “You Need Reliable Power To Run Air Conditioners” department: The Chinese are more than technologically astute enough to walk over to the wall and turn down the thermostat one degree.

Eric Stevens
Reply to  menicholas
November 17, 2017 12:27 pm

You don’t even have to touch the thermostat. It will look after external temperature variations itself. That’s what thermostats are for.

Reply to  menicholas
November 18, 2017 12:20 am

Yes, well, there is that.

Reply to  menicholas
November 18, 2017 11:13 am

Is no one concerned that these researchers didn’t think of that?

November 17, 2017 7:07 am

This is completely backward. Fighting climate change will stunt Chineses manufacturing.

November 17, 2017 7:10 am

There is a wonderful modern invention the researchers may not have considered. It’s air conditioning. Air conditioning controls the interior temperature and humidity of structures to any desired level. Some say it is the savior of the south (of the US anyways) where many heavy industries are located. I recommend Professor Deschenes and his colleagues reconsider their findings in view of this evidently new information.

Reply to  DHR
November 17, 2017 7:26 am

“In one particularly striking result, we separately examine temperature sensitivity between low- and high-tech industries in China,” Deschenes said. High-tech industries include those that produce medical supplies, aerospace equipment and computer equipment. “We typically think of these sectors as being capital intensive with indoor production facilities that tend to operate with air conditioning,” Deschenes continued. “We find that these industries are just as sensitive to extreme temperature as low-tech industries.”

Apparently they know about air conditioning. But I’m not interested enough to read the study to find out why the authors conclude it doesn’t matter.

Reply to  DHR
November 17, 2017 9:18 am

Air conditioning does indeed increase productivity. link

Some Chinese plants will not have air conditioning because they don’t even have heating. One of my buddies reports that his Chinese suppliers had a problem with cracked and even entirely missing cable insulation. A visit to the factory found that it was so cold that the insulation became brittle and broke when they tried to bend it.

Reply to  DHR
November 17, 2017 10:44 am

I couldn’t agree more. I work in the auto industry. Most new auto assembly and auto parts manufacturing plants are now located in the warm South rather than in the cold Midwest. Perhaps the professors need to visit these plants rather than simply looking at their computer screens.

Reply to  Mohatdebos
November 17, 2017 1:11 pm

What, leave their air-conditioned offices?
That would kill their productivity.

mike the morlock
Reply to  DHR
November 17, 2017 12:32 pm

You need proper temperature control for quality control. The expansion and contraction of material is a good example. Two parts that fit together on a cool night may not once the factory warms up in the daytime. I have seen this happen.
You have to have A.C. for parts with close tolerances, +/- .0002
Chinese productivity will not drop with a one or two degree temperature change, they will just add A.C. to the factories that they were getting away without having it. That will actually increase productivity, The cost is not likely to be disruptive. Manpower costs are normally the biggest costs. As the wealth in china increases workers will want a bigger slice of the pie, and with china’s population policy’s at some point they too may start to feel a labor shortage.


November 17, 2017 7:10 am

Apparently the Chinese never heard of thermostats. Or air conditioning.

Reply to  arthur4563
November 17, 2017 7:15 am

I was thinking the same thing. How very Western condescending pratts.

Next week the article will be the woks will be 1 degree warmer and will burn the dim sims. They clearly are incapable of being able to turn the heat down.

Rhoda Klapp
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2017 7:50 am

No, dim sum is a chinese dumpling. Dim sim is a climate model.

Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2017 10:45 am

How many manufacturing plants do you think have air conditioning on the production floor? Assembling computer parts in a static-free environment, but assembling something like a car, nope. Every one I’ve been in is heated in the winter, however, because people and machines wouldn’t work at all below certain temperatures.

Mike Rossander
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2017 11:45 am

re: RWturner’s question “How many manufacturing plants do you think have air conditioning on the production floor?”

The answer (in the US) is pretty much all of them. More than just controlling temperature, air conditioning controls humidity and dust – two contaminants that are vital to manage in even a medium-tech production process. About the only plants I know that are not routinely air conditioned are those that for operational reasons are open to the environment generally. That includes foundries (because even the hottest summer day is a blast of cold air compared to the heat from the molten metal) and some older chemical production facilities (because of the safety factor of venting). Of the dozen or so auto assembly plants I’ve worked at or toured, all of them were air conditioned.

Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2017 1:16 pm

I worked for a company that built grocery store check out stands for a couple of years back when I lived in Tampa, FL.
No AC and no heat.
In the winter you just wore your coat all day.
In the summer you set up one of those 24 inch hurricane fans about three feet from your desk. The only problem was remembering to make sure small parts didn’t blow away when you weren’t watching them.

One winter they were applying apoxy to some part, they had to curtain off one corner of the building and bring in one of those big propane heaters for a week. Without the heater it was too cold for the epoxy to set up.

Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2017 4:04 pm

re: RWturner’s question “How many manufacturing plants do you think have air conditioning on the production floor? Assembling computer parts in a static-free environment, but assembling something like a car, nope. Every one I’ve been in is heated in the winter, however, because people and machines wouldn’t work at all below certain temperatures.”

That is my experience too, even in the south in Guangzhou Province. No air conditioning. And employees wear jackets whenever the temp is below 80°F in the southern provinces. In the northern provinces of course employees are more used to cold temps. Xi’an, for example, where Mao shipped all of the high-tech manufacturing (such as it was) to keep it out of the range of US bombers, gets pretty damn cold, with a high temp of <35°C even in Jun/Jul/Aug and a low temp of <0°C in the winter.

Reply to  LdB
November 18, 2017 12:40 pm

No place in Communist China was outside the range of B-50 (B-29 upgrade) or B-47 (jet) bombers, flying from Asian bases. After 1955, scarcely anywhere on Earth was, given B-52 refueling, flying from the US.

Reply to  LdB
November 18, 2017 12:47 pm

To say nothing of these guys, who used to fly over our ranch house frequently when I was a kid:

The deep, droning sound, felt as much as heard, was unforgettable. As were the impressive contrails.

They could reach Xi’an from Guam, unrefueled.

Reply to  LdB
November 19, 2017 10:52 am

No place in Communist China was outside the range of B-50 (B-29 upgrade) or B-47 (jet) bombers, flying from Asian bases.

I didn’t say it was effective. But that’s exactly what he did:

During the mid-20th century, Chairman Mao moved coastal manufacturing inland to protect it from perceived threats from American and other hostile forces.

George Daddis
Reply to  arthur4563
November 17, 2017 8:24 am

You don’t understand.

…. if no additional adaptations occur

Clearly turning the thermostat dial is considered “an additional adaptation”.

John Smith
Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 8:46 am

Why would you need to turn the thermostat dial? Thermostats keep temperature constant already, by definition.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 9:23 am

That is the ‘BIG IF’ assumption. Of course there will be adaptation, either install AC, or move north.

Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 9:44 am

I agree with John Smith: why would you need to turn the thermostat dial? Set it and forget it.
My mother used to turn the thermostat down at night “to save gas”. It didn’t lower the gas bill at all. My father would go ballistic if we didn’t turn off the lights in when leaving a room. You had to ‘save electricity’. Somehow it didn’t change the electric bill, because the fridge still required electricity, the air conditioner and furnace still used it, and the meter ran for the entire house, not room by room.
Dumb ideas exist in every generation.

Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 10:20 am

Sara – you obviously weren’t the one paying the gas or electric bill.

Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 10:53 am

Sara, that comment is baffling.
You are aware that stuff adds up, are you not?

Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 10:58 am

Even my warmista friends and family members who feel so virtuous for their condemnation of deniers, but who leave their huge mansions’ AC cranked up all the way even while out of the house, even while on vacation, and who would never think of spending the money for a programmable thermostat or LED lighting or motion sensor light switches or timed ceiling fans, or any of the other stuff I do myself despite my belief that CO2 is not a bit harmful…hell, even those irresponsible spendthrifts and wastrels know that turning stuff off and using less heat and less AC saves money because it uses less power…they just do not care because it is not a significant amount of money for them.

Reply to  George Daddis
November 17, 2017 1:17 pm

Just because it didn’t save much compared to the other users of electricity is not proof that it didn’t save anything.

Reply to  arthur4563
November 17, 2017 8:38 am

…if no additional adaptations occur…
Static analysis is almost always wrong in it’s predictions. Systems do not stand still; they constantly adjust to inputs.

Reply to  Gary
November 17, 2017 11:04 am

Exactly so Gary.
Just like predictions that sea level rise of a millimeter or two a year will flood people out of their homes in Miami ignores that long before such a slow rise floods anyone, hurricanes and wear and tear and a hundred other things will occur.
It is like worrying that your footsteps will cause your floors to get ruts and worn spots in them.

Reply to  Gary
November 17, 2017 1:18 pm

They will, in a few hundred years.

Reply to  Gary
November 17, 2017 1:46 pm

Exactly, which is a reason not to worry about.

November 17, 2017 7:13 am

“if no additional adaptations occur” And of course, IF there will be warming until then, there will be additional adaptations, so the claim is non falsifiable, as too many claims from pseudo sciences. Even if there would be no adaptations, there would be other changes that could make troubles to economy, so there is no way to tell how much is due of warming and how much due something else.

Coeur de Lion
November 17, 2017 7:29 am

There’s a website of funny exploded leftist alarm stories – something count – I forget – getting senile – but there were 833 of them, then the compiler just gave up under the torrent. Best was “more UFO visitations, they are concerned about what we are doing to the planet”. ‘Narwhals Drowning’ etc.

Reply to  Coeur de Lion
November 17, 2017 11:10 am

Here you go.

And there are a number of sites that link to this one, and some funny things to say…like this one:

“For those members in good standing, this list is something you can use to defeat those especially nasty people called skeptic. No argument that they can make can disprove your cause because you can show that global warming causes everything.”

Leo Smith
November 17, 2017 7:32 am

Yet another study based on false premises.

I dont know why Anthony gives these space: If IPCC projections are well wide of the mark, these studies are meaningless.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 17, 2017 7:49 am

In an era when government is grossly in debt the continued funding of such studies by the taxpayers must be publicly debated. If we continue funding “scientific research” at all we must have a better way to prioritize what is funded. Knowing what is being funded now I would hope ultimately convince the public to demand change. This one rates right in there with shrimp on a treadmill.

Donald Schmitt
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 17, 2017 9:26 am

To show how stupid the climate alarmist are.

Steve Fraser
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 17, 2017 9:34 am

I like it that I can read what people are saying, even if I strongly disagree with their conclusions. I appreciate BIGLY that I have access to not only the articles, but the varied perspectives of this group.

From reading these things, the articles and the commentary, I have learned to see the ‘spin on the language’ that is continually used. Phrases like ‘all other factors being constant’, or ‘if no changes are made’ are the giveaway to me that there is a forced relationship between the independent and the dependent variables.

Long ago, a good friend of mine pointed out that ‘There is no “IF” in Philosophy.’ What that means to me in practice is that an “IF” indicates that I should test the validity of the condition proposed. Adaptation is what smart people, smart companies, and smart nations DO.

Just for fun, I’d like to see a paper test the assumption of Adaptation in Climate Change studies ‘IF’ the US Federal Govt were to completely suspend all Research funds. I bet we would see adaptation bigtime.

Reply to  Leo Smith
November 17, 2017 11:13 am

Leo, if for no other reason, so we can all ponder and muse about how idiotic the warmista jackassery is, and yet remains and continues to suck tens of billions of dollars in funding for such nonsensical and farcically ignorant hogswallop.

November 17, 2017 7:43 am

I recall studies that show that the 30-year trend in temperatures in China was declining. I haven’t checked the paper to be sure, but I suspect that they don’t include long-term plots of temperature with real data as part of their analysis. I find it hard to believe that someone can pull a number out of a hat (i.e. 1 degree) and write a paper.

Reply to  Kira
November 17, 2017 11:16 am

“I find it hard to believe…”

You must be somewhat new to the practice of carefully examining warmistas and all of their jackass shenanigans.

David Chappell
Reply to  Kira
November 18, 2017 7:09 am

And about what will happen in 120 years time.

Walter Sobchak
November 17, 2017 7:45 am

Bilge. Clearly, the “researchers” have no idea what the real world is like. My brother runs a company that imports goods from Asia (or anywhere else that labor is $1/day or less). The truth is that production is leaving China.

Why is that? Easy. The surplus labor supply is evaporating as the surplus labor in rural areas has completed its move to the cities and the number of children reaching working age has dropped due to anti-natal policies, and rising prosperity. That has caused wages to climb. In order to pay those wages., Chinese manufacture has changed its focus from the bottom of the value chain — T-shirts and plastic spoons — to the higher reaches — Televisions and cell phones.

The cheapest goods are now made in places like Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Note those are all places where it is plenty hot without “climate change”.

What does the future hold? Who knows? But, the sweatshop business has left China forever. It won’t be coming back.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 17, 2017 7:53 am

Just another example of the whacko academics escaping CA and spreading the alarmist virus into other states and countries.

F. Leghorn
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 17, 2017 8:14 am

Tell that to the slaves worle

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 17, 2017 1:22 pm

The same thing happened for every other “low cost” manufacturing country, and it will happen to Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc.

November 17, 2017 7:50 am

One more reason to fight climate change……….

They are all really grasping at straws now.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Latitude
November 17, 2017 9:26 am

I’m pretty sure they’ve been grasping at straws the whole time! They haven’t got anything else…

Bruce Cobb
November 17, 2017 8:02 am

Attacks by space aliens will also stunt Chinese manufacturing. Poor Chinese, can’t catch a break.

F. Leghorn
November 17, 2017 8:06 am

From the “Couldn’t possibly be dumber but our leftard handlers are too stupid to care department:”

Are they really claiming that machines in an air conditioned room will be affected by outside temperature? Holy BS Batman!

Pop Piasa
November 17, 2017 8:08 am

So, what happens to industry if the climate changes the other way and they are pulling their rickshaws through 8″ of snow and ice?

This is just another angle on a computer-created fantasy which has grown legs and become a ‘living’ entity in present day society. Predictions of run-away global warming by any other name are still wrong so far. The correlation between CO2 rise and temperature gets weaker and weaker as time passes. All that powers the meme anymore is religious zeal that we must ‘turn or burn’ and dismantle our corrupt industrial civilizations.

November 17, 2017 8:32 am

Methinks the basic premise (loss of manufacturing) may have much validity, but the mechanism for the premise is their cure.

Michael Jankowski
November 17, 2017 8:33 am

Amazing that this escaped detection when US manufacturing jobs left the US for Mexico.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
November 17, 2017 11:19 am


The Expulsive
November 17, 2017 8:51 am

Having been an industrial engineer that worked in manufacturing (before we exported so much of it, along with the pollution, to the 3rd world) I especially liked the comment that a 1 degree increase will somehow affect the machines. I don’t think these people spent any time in the factories or with the actual machines to be able to make such an absurd statement.

Reply to  The Expulsive
November 17, 2017 11:23 am

I wonder if anyone has done any studies to determine how much the temperature of a space must change in order for an average person to even become aware of it?
In other words…can a person even detect a 1 degree change without any device to measure it? Just by how they feel?
I doubt it.
I think two degrees is getting closer to the lower limit, which may be why that number was pulled from a hat as the dangerous amount that must be avoided no matter the cost or consequences/

Reply to  menicholas
November 17, 2017 1:26 pm

The manufacturing plant in Tampa that I mentioned in an earlier post, bought a high tech milling machine from Germany.
One winter they were having trouble getting it to start up. After a visit from a company rep, the floor manager went down to Wal-Mart, bought an electric blanket, and used it to wrap the pump every night.
That was the entire problem, the pump on this $1 million dollar piece of equipment had gotten too cold over night. A $15 dollar low tech solution.

Reply to  menicholas
November 17, 2017 2:26 pm

Interesting that this was more of a problem in Tampa than in Germany.
Probably in Germany they know they need to turn on the heat when it starts getting chilly at night.
In Tampa, I am guessing that few warehouses or production facilities even have a heater.
The production facility for the company I work for is in Pompano Beach, and it is mightily hot in Summer, like crazy hot in there. My warehouse in Sanford is even worse…like an oven in Summer.
But since one entire wall is bay doors that would hinder production to shut, it is fans or nothing.

November 17, 2017 9:01 am

Another failure of a study that presumes that a theoretical “global average temperature increase” will show up equally, everywhere on Earth, and that it will manifest as higher daily high temperatures rather than warmer nighttime and Winter temperatures. Global warming may actually increase production and decrease use of fossil fuels to run heating units, depending on how much freezing cold is diminished.

November 17, 2017 9:06 am

I simply don’t believe that they have the data to make these claims. For a start, China’s temperatures simply have not increased by enough to give you sufficient data. Then Chinese manufacturing has been changing in hugely significant ways over the last couple of decades – I would be amazed if there was one single large factory that was producing the same item in the same way today an it was even ten years ago, let alone twenty.

Finally, all economics is trade-offs. For the moment, the Chinese have not done much about any temperature-induced losses because the losses are small and the costs of making changes large. But if the losses become large, they will do stuff.

Who pays for this utter nonsense?

Reply to  Phoenix44
November 17, 2017 11:22 am

It’s half baked science. It’s certainly true that when temperatures reach above a certain threshold, human labor productivity drops. But to pretend that daily fluctuation in productivity determines the annual productivity goes beyond stupid, it’s enough to think that the conclusions were determined and a paper was written around said conclusions.

Reply to  RWturner
November 17, 2017 11:25 am

RW, I think it goes without saying that such conclusions are reached by brainstorming before funding is even sought.

Reply to  Phoenix44
November 17, 2017 1:27 pm

Beyond that, you have to take any industrial figures out of China with a block of salt.

November 17, 2017 9:14 am

So productivity is higher in winter than in summer.

Reply to  mwhite
November 17, 2017 9:56 am

Of course its is. Fewer beach days. I thought everybody knew that. 🙂

Reply to  Sara
November 17, 2017 11:19 am

Not to mention that there seems to be some event that occurs every 4Q that really drives all manufacturing up. It’s surely a mystery on what causes this annual spike in economic indices. I need a grant to get to the bottom of this.

Reply to  Sara
November 17, 2017 1:28 pm

Speaking of which, it’s almost time for Black Friday again.

Clyde Spencer
November 17, 2017 9:19 am

And, once again, extrapolating average global temperatures, to implicitly forecast high temperatures for a mid-latitude country, when most of the warming is happening in the Arctic, at night, and in the Winter. If the so-called “sweat shops” have no temperature control, they might be more productive with warmer Winters! Whenever I read science fiction like this I have a mental image of Chicken Little running around yelling, “The sky is falling!”

Reasonable Skeptic
November 17, 2017 9:23 am

So, if warming decreases productivity, obviously cooling increases productivity!

Reply to  Reasonable Skeptic
November 17, 2017 9:42 am

So if anyone who takes global warming seriously gets a blast from a CO2 fire extinguisher, they might start to think?

November 17, 2017 9:38 am

Warming is primarily defined by increasing night time minimum temperatures particularly in winter, not increased absolute temperatures, so why are they worried? If not an artifact of the collection method, it would lead to fewer people dying on cold winter nights around the world and longer growing seasons because of fewer frosts. I have never understood a rational reason to fear global warming even as presented by the IPCC!

Reply to  OweninGA
November 17, 2017 9:55 am

Some real reasons behind all this claptrap nonsense are ‘fear of change’ and ‘no control of it’. ‘Change’ is something that no one can control, especially if it is change in the natural world.
We’re the most adaptable species on the planet, but these Warmians and Greenbeans and alarmists don’t want to have to adapt, especially to anything new or naturally occurring, like seasonal changes. How many commuters do you see dressed improperly for bad winter weather? I see lots of them on the TV news. And they really hate winter, but they’re stuck where they are because their jobs aren’t in warm climates. Meantime, the rest of us just adapt and mosey on.

Reply to  Sara
November 17, 2017 2:32 pm

To push their lies, they actively promote the fiction that all change is harmful, suppress any talk of adaptivity or homeostasis, and pretend that the earth and everything in it exists in a narrow and stable state that everything and everyone is exquisitely well adapted to and unable to intolere or any change therein.

Reply to  Sara
November 17, 2017 2:34 pm

“…and unable to tolerate any change therein.”

November 17, 2017 9:48 am

The photo on the index page shows a Chinese garment factory. That certainly looks better organized and productive than photos of the same thing from other countries and eras. Looks like the Chinese manufacturers pretty well have their act together and don’t need the interference of some self-important climate zombie annoying them.

November 17, 2017 9:59 am

What was the toll again in the Cultural Revolution in that orgy of bad ideas forced on the masses?

Retired Kit P
November 17, 2017 10:05 am

I thought it was hot and humid in the US southeast, then we moved to China near Hong Kong.

China like the US is a large country with a wide range of climates. From my experience working in power plants, extreme temperatures does affect productivey. However, this has nothing to do with small changes that might be the result of AGW.

At nuke plants, we try to scedule maintenace during the spring and fall when demand for power is lower. There are also warning/cooling sheds to provide for OSHA safety requiremnts.

China has discovered A/C big time. Everyplace indoors we went was had A/C. I read a study by an American university where reseachers were agast at how fast A/C had pentrated on a family level. We had two units in our apartment, one for the bedroom and one for the living room.

Clearly as people become more affleunt they want a nicer apartment. Then they want A/C.

Worldwide demand for power and therefor coal is going to increase.

My suggestion is that concerned college professors and students give up A/C. How about some leadership!

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Retired Kit P
November 17, 2017 10:14 am

“reseachers were agast at how fast A/C had pentrated on a family level.”

Why would they be ‘aghast’?

Reply to  DC Cowboy
November 17, 2017 2:39 pm

Dc Cowboy,
The same reason they want us to eat bugs instead of meat: They are insane control freaks who want everyone else to suffer, so they can be rich and live high on the hog while controlling what everyone else does, down to the last detail.

Reply to  DC Cowboy
November 17, 2017 2:44 pm

Someone like Al Gore or Leo Di Caprio almost surely cause more CO2 emissions per week with their multiple huge homes and private jets taking them all over the world and all the time, than an average person will cause to be emitted in their entire life.
And yet they stand on a soap box and pretend they are saving the world by telling other people what they need to do.
At one level, these can be seen to be extremely evil and destructive people.

Stephen Skinner
November 17, 2017 10:11 am

How about Steelworks or Mines as workers here will experience extremes of temperatures? In fact conditions or equipment may have improved since the 1800s because of better clothing, ventilation and working hours etc. The outside weather is not going to make much difference here. Maybe these academics should see the film of Leningrad factory workers trying to manufacture in sub zero temperatures during the siege of Leningrad. No food and no heat and they still managed to work. Maybe the Chinese should get air conditioning that works? And why the Chinese?

November 17, 2017 10:18 am

Said the beachcomber in Santa Barbara.

November 17, 2017 10:35 am

Table 1. Summary statistics. Shows max temperature for 1998–2007 to be 80.57 deg F and predicted max temperature for 2040–2059 to be 81.99 deg F. However, Fig. 1 shows several days of 90+ deg F and a lot of days at 80-90 deg F. This does not match, so the authors cannot even tell a consistent story.

Much of the loss of productivity is supposed to occur on the 90+ deg F days, which Table 1 indicates do not exist.

November 17, 2017 10:47 am

Its not China, but close. Here are temperatures for Japan since 1998
comment image

Reply to  AndyG55
November 17, 2017 10:50 am

There was a very small step change (most of Asia got it too iirc) between 1990 and 1998

But before that, during the height of Japanese industrial growth.. we have this
comment image

Reply to  AndyG55
November 17, 2017 10:59 am

anomalies, not temperatures

data from

November 17, 2017 11:00 am

increasing temperatures… make machines operate less well.

Cold certainly makes machines operate less well

Tank and vehicle lubricants froze as temperatures plunged to record lows.

The machines work well in hot climates like North Africa.

November 17, 2017 11:06 am

Environmental economists? Did they remember to consult with the Flat Earth Geometrists and Theological Physicists?

I think these pseudoscientists are a lot of trust-funders that have never been near anyone or anything associated with manufacturing. Productivity follows demand, not the temperature. If a daily quota isn’t met because of a heat wave, management doesn’t simply throw their arms up and say “oh golly it’s too hot to meet our demands, I guess the buyer will just have to take less of our product.”

November 17, 2017 11:30 am

Climate change will force local production, thereby reducing climate change, thus Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change. Heads you lose. Tails you lose.

Mike Rossander
November 17, 2017 11:33 am

If the causation implied by this study were correct, you would already be able to demonstrate differential productivity between manufacturing operations based on geography. That is, plants in the north would be demonstrably more productive than identical plants in the south. Matching the hypothesized effects of future climate change over the period they assessed means about the same as moving a plant 200 miles to the south. In other words, about the difference between Cleveland and Cincinnati or Delaware and North Carolina or Beijing and Jinan.

Funny that there are exactly zero studies showing any such correlation between productivity and latitude today.

Gary Pearse.
November 17, 2017 11:34 am

OMG!, “Sweat shops” is a derogatory anachronism for lowly paid, crowed garment makers and the clones think it’s going to get sweatier! I can see Steve MacIntyre’s admonition that climate scientists on the Team would likely be highschool science teachers in an earlier generation IF THEY WERE LUCKY. Sweat shops! Gorr.

Gary Pearse.
Reply to  Gary Pearse.
November 17, 2017 11:37 am

It also is a racist term. Presumably Africans living in a warmer climate will never be productive by the lights of the climateers.

Reply to  Gary Pearse.
November 17, 2017 9:19 pm

Agreed everything about the study is built on racism.

November 17, 2017 12:31 pm

Wind and power are a great solutions for manufacturing. The $100+ that BHP lost in the south Australian blackouts are a great advertisement how to encouraging these solutions are for manufacturing. China will be no different . If you make your industry more expensive and unreliable businesses will go elsewhere. The cost of a few more air conditioners is relatively cheap.

November 17, 2017 1:03 pm

As if China didn’t have at least as much natural climate variations already, from Hainan to whatever they now call Manchuria. Most of northeast China has pretty pronounced seasonal temperature variations, but at one time that area was the industrialized part.
More recently, the Chinese have done the same as the US, move south and use AC much of the year.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 17, 2017 3:20 pm

Most of China has very hot and muggy summers, rather like the US as a matter of fact. July in Hongkong is hotter than in New Orleans, and in Beijing is nearly as warm as in Charleston. But northern China also has quite cold, windy and dusty winters. January in Beijing is colder than in Chicago and in Harbin in Manchuria is almost as cold as in Fairbanks.

November 17, 2017 1:27 pm

These days, the Chinese are growing taller, bigger and more healthy. I am sure that there will soon be a study telling us that Climate Change / Global Warming is to blame for this development too. Perhaps Griff will let us have a reference soon.

Reply to  ntesdorf
November 17, 2017 3:06 pm

It is only to be expected. The same thing happened in Japan a few decades ago when you started noticing that the teenage kids were suddenly much taller than their parents. One wonders how tall they will finally become, since northern chinese are fairly tall even now.

Reply to  tty
November 17, 2017 3:44 pm

And its all the fault of the CO2 enhanced atmosphere.

Amazing what a bit of food will do 🙂

Reply to  tty
November 17, 2017 6:14 pm

I noticed that sort of thing when I was a kid. My father’s favorite oriental restaurant was across the street from a Japanese Buddhist Temple, and the families entering the church were like a stairway, with the grandparents being tiny, the parents being about six inches taller, and the adolescent children being three or four inches taller than their parents.

Reply to  tty
November 17, 2017 6:18 pm

The Chinese word for Japanese means “dwarf”. Insular dwarfism?

There is a big difference between average height in north and south China. Most Chinese Americans are Cantonese.

Reply to  tty
November 17, 2017 6:32 pm

People are still getting larger and taller all over the world, and I see it with every generation here in the US.
It was less dramatic in places where proper nutrition has been the norm for longer.
The reasons are nutrition and good health in childhood, better prenatal care and nutrition, and epigenetics.

Reply to  tty
November 18, 2017 11:55 am

“The Chinese word for Japanese means “dwarf”. Insular dwarfism?”

I can’t vouch for the truth of this, since I don’t speak Chinese, but a chinese acquaintance claims that the correct translation is actually “dwarfed swarthy pirate”.

Reply to  tty
November 18, 2017 12:12 pm

Maybe that’s the favored address for encounters on the high seas. The Japanese were famed as pirates. And if you’re at sea for long periods in subtropical to tropical latitudes, one would tend toward swarthiness.

The adjective “Japanese” consists of two traditional characters (日本), which literally translated mean “Sun This”, clearly referring to the direction in which the sun rises. But the noun, ie “a person from Japan”, can be just the lone character for “dwarf” (侏), or, inoffensively, the adjective with the character for “people” added (日本人).

No wonder that Japan prefers “Land of the Rising Sun” to “Dwarfland”.

Reply to  tty
November 18, 2017 12:15 pm

Or, maybe if it weren’t obvious from context, one could clarify by saying, “You know, the dwarfs who are swarthy pirates, not normal, Chinese or inner or outer barbarian dwarfs”.

Reply to  tty
November 18, 2017 12:31 pm

In this context, the Chinese character for “this” (本) connotes “origin” or “source”, ie “whence comes the sun”.

November 17, 2017 2:32 pm

And the science fiction continues to spew from academics. There will be a time, not long from now, when the word ‘academic’ will be an insult.

November 17, 2017 3:02 pm

The Chinese love A/C. Apartments in China normally don’t come with A/C, but virtually everybody installs one. Which can look rather odd in large housing projects since there seems to be an almost infinite number of different models. They are probably smart enough to realize that they will work in a factory as well.

Reply to  tty
November 17, 2017 3:42 pm

All powered by wind and solar… of course 😉

November 17, 2017 3:53 pm

“They predict that by the middle of the 21st century, if no additional adaptations occur, climate change will reduce Chinese manufacturing output annually by 12 percent “

Surely they don’t mean annually; that would reduce production by 72% in 10 years.

Reply to  Mark
November 17, 2017 9:17 pm

Who cares it’s a stupid fourth rate study. As any business owner knows if your production started to drop away by 12% because of a single issue you would react.

It is like having a study that says production will drop 12% at a business because of a change to doorway. What business is going to let production drop by 12% and not just knock the doorway out.

lemiere jacques
November 18, 2017 12:02 am

if the correlation is a genuine causation ( factor) and if china do nothing ..this is true…
well.. you ve notice that most of the timer only the heads of people taking a bath at sea is above the sea level. I noticed too a correlation, the more your heaed is deep in the water the more you are likey to drown. So..according to the models i can etimate that a lot of people are going to drown in the future due to seas level rise. And it is frightenting.

November 19, 2017 7:46 am

I want to see the correlating study–what happens to these machines when the temperature drops because we’ve “solved” global warming and are now in an ice age? Cuz that is the ultimate goal right? To save the ice! Because we all know that cold doesn’t kill people or machines right?

Or I want to see the headline: Chinese sweat shops become even more sweaty!

Has anyone seriously asked these alarmists what IS the perfect temperature for the Earth they are trying to achieve? As if the Earth has a thermostat they can set! < — see what I did there?

Either way…why don't they concentrate on saving trees instead of publishing this fish wrap? (total tongue in cheek, paper mills plant more trees than they cut down around here–caveat, not everywhere)

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