NBER Working Paper: Valuing the Global Mortality Consequences of Climate Change Accounting for Adaptation Costs and Benefits

Communities are already experiencing a changing climate as temperature extremes become a familiar trend around the globe. How much is temperature to blame when hospital visits increase during heat waves and cold spells? What role do adaptations like indoor heating and cooling systems play in blunting these effects? And, at what cost? Empirical evidence of the risks extreme temperatures pose to human health is limited since fatalities often come from periods of heat or cold that worsen underlying conditions. Individual deaths are rarely attributed to temperature surges, so public health officials and policymakers often invest less in addressing and responding to climate change. The answers to these questions would inform policymakers, city planners, business leaders, and a range of stakeholders who are preparing to mitigate and adapt as the climate becomes more unstable. Read More