Jan 1, 2012

Climate change, humidity, and mortality in the United States

Alan I. Barreca
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management
  • Estimates the effects of humidity and temperature on mortality rates in the United States (c. 1973–2002) in order to provide an insight into the potential health impacts of climate change
  • Finds that humidity, like temperature, is an important determinant of mortality
  • Projects that mortality rates are likely to change little on the aggregate for the United States, coupled with Hadley CM3 climate-change predictions
  • Finds, however, that distributional impacts matter: mortality rates are likely to decline in cold and dry areas, but increase in hot and humid areas
  • States that accounting for humidity has important implications for evaluating these distributional effects