An odd headline, but true. Hotter, more humid summers reduces work productivity by 10% researchers find. This effects military personnel and industrial production around the Earth’s warmer regions. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Smithsonian sums up the research:
If you feel sluggish and have difficulty getting physical work done on very hot, humid days, it’s not your imagination. Our bodies are equipped with an adaptation to handle high temperatures—perspiration—but sweating becomes ineffective at cooling us down when the air around us is extremely humid.
Add in the fact that climate change is projected to increase the average humidity of Earth as well as its temperature, and you could have a recipe for a rather unexpected consequence of greenhouse gas emissions: a reduced overall ability to get work done.
According to a study published yesterday in Nature Climate Change, increased heat and humidity has already reduced our species’ work capacity by 10% in the warmest months, and that figure could rise to 20% by 2050 and 60% by the year 2200, given current projections.
The Princeton research team behind the study, led by John Dunne, came to the finding by combining the latest data on global temperature and humidity over the past few decades with American military and industrial guidelines for how much work a person can safely do under environmental heat stress. For their projections, they used two sets of climate regimes: a pessimistic scenario, in which greenhouse gas emissions rise unchecked through 2200, and an optimistic one, in which they begin to stabilize after 2060.
OK, I’ll do it. I’m going to commit to eating only humanely raised pigs, or ban pork when in doubt. I don’t eat a lot of pork, so it should be easy, hopefully. I was just talking about this with an acquaintance over dinner the other night. We were in the Deer Cafe in Vesterbro, Copenhagen and I ordered baked cod with mustard sauce. It was garnished with two slices of thick bacon.
Lars, a shy Swede and nerdy computer programmer, told me that he only eats wild hunted swine (aka wild boar). It was more natural, he said, and better for the conscience.
He explained that Denmark is one of the largest producers of pork in the world, and that factory farming of pigs was a terrible, horrible business that he couldn’t support. He talked about how pigs are highly intelligent, have personalities, and can feel happiness and pain.
I listened intently while munching on thick bacon strips in between swills of some dark ale. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, perhaps even overblown since the EU supposedly is very strict with respect to agriculture and factory farming. Even though this video was shot in the states, and is a horrible nightmare to watch, I fear that the 22 million pigs(!) that are slaughtered each year just in Denmark do not live anything but short, brutal lives. I am so confused at why this happens in 2012. Wikipedia has an entry on intensive pig farming in the U.S., here.