TSKB Economic Research Focuses on the Relationship Between Climate, Economy, and Society in the New Issue of “Climate Review”

23 June 2023
- 3 min. Read

Prepared by TSKB Economic Research, the 11th issue of Climate Review delves into the relationship between climate, economy, and society. Leveraging crucial research findings in this domain, the study investigates the repercussions of global temperature fluctuations on cities, agriculture, and biodiversity. It highlights the pressing imperative to expedite climate change adaptation measures for agricultural production to meet growing demands.

The 11th issue of Climate Action, prepared quarterly by TSKB Economic Research as part of the Green Swan Platform, has been published. Focusing on the results of research on the relationship between climate, economy and society, the new edition highlights the impacts of global temperature changes on cities, agriculture, and biodiversity. Addressing the rising food inflation due to the negative impacts of factors such as diminishing water resources and drought on agricultural production, the study explores the factors that threaten food security and the obstacles to economic development in this area.

Crop losses due to heat in Europe tripled in the last 50 years

The study forecasts a further escalation of global warming and an anticipated rise in heat waves, underscoring the urgency to expedite climate change adaptation measures for agricultural production to meet growing demands. The latest issue of Climate Review, incorporating data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reveals that extreme heat and drought conditions have resulted in significant crop losses globally, with an average decline of 11.6 percent in corn production, 12.4 percent in soybean production, and 9.2 percent in wheat production. On the other hand, the study states that in Europe, where average annual temperatures have surged by 2.2 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era, crop losses have witnessed a threefold increase in the past 50 years due to the mounting temperatures. Estimates suggest that the projected average annual temperature increases in the next 50 years could render regions currently inhabited by 1 to 3 billion people unsuitable for human life due to adverse climate conditions.

Extreme heat responsible for 5 percent of economic loss incurred between 1980 and 2017

The study shows that waste heat generated by urban cooling systems and heat emissions resulting from human activities contribute to regional temperature increases ranging from 1 to 3 degrees Celsius. Urban heat islands, which are formed due to reasons such as covering the soil with concrete or other materials due to increasing urbanization, reduced vegetation cover, elevated transportation activities and intensified heat absorption in buildings, amplify the adverse impacts of heat waves on cities, accentuating their detrimental effects. On hot summer days, urban surfaces exposed to direct sunlight can reach temperatures that are 25 to 50 degrees Celsius higher than the air temperature. According to data from the European Environment Agency, between 1980 and 2017, the loss of life resulting from extreme heat, severe weather events including storms, floods, and droughts, as well as other disasters like forest fires, constituted 68 percent of the total catastrophic losses in Europe, while contributing to 5 percent of the overall economic losses.

Preserving 30 to 50 percent of terrestrial, oceanic, and freshwater ecosystems is crucial

Heat waves have detrimental effects on freshwater resources, which house over 10 percent of known animal species and more than 50 percent of fish species. Prolonged episodes of extreme heat, resulting in excessive evaporation, are causing an escalation in the loss of freshwater species. It is stated that the current loss of freshwater species at 76 percent exceeds the loss experienced by terrestrial or marine species. In the oceans, heat waves, which are estimated to have increased by 50 percent in the last century, are wiping out coral reefs and the marine life they support. The study, presenting a solution-oriented perspective, emphasizes the significance of conserving and, when feasible, enhancing 30 to 50 percent of terrestrial, oceanic, and freshwater ecosystems as a crucial measure to sustain existing ecosystem services.

Other highlights from the study are as follows:

· Currently, 675 million people in the world do not have access to electricity. 2.3 billion people use polluting fuels for cooking. This has significant negative impacts on the health and well-being of communities, especially those most vulnerable to climate change.

· Unless investments in renewable energy are expedited, by 2030, 1.9 billion individuals will lack access to clean fuel for cooking, while 660 million people will remain without access to electricity. According to estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO), the use of polluting fuels and technologies leading to toxic indoor air pollution is responsible for approximately 3.2 million deaths each year, primarily affecting communities with minimal contributions to climate change.

· The World Bank has approved USD 434.7 million in financing for the Türkiye Water Circularity and Efficiency Improvement Project, which aims to enhance wastewater management, promote water reuse, and bolster irrigation services across the country. The project strives to improve water security in the country where more than two-thirds of river basins face water scarcity and nearly half of rivers are estimated to be highly polluted.

· The study scrutinizing the progressive temperature rise in Türkiye over the past 51 years reveals a notable increase of 1.1°C between the average temperature of the first 25 years since 1970 and the average temperature of the last 25 years. In our country, there has been a fourfold increase in the occurrence of extreme hot winters or summers, based on a 10-year average, compared to the conditions witnessed 30 years ago. The study reveals the remarkable nature of the temperature increase witnessed in the past 50 years, particularly in light of the global objective to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

· The latest issue of Climate Review delves into the potential ramifications of the anticipated El Niño weather phenomenon later this year on global food systems. Alongside rising temperatures, El Niño is anticipated to exert substantial influences on rainfall patterns and drought conditions, particularly in countries within the Pacific region. As in previous cycles, El Niño can adversely affect agricultural yields and contribute to an upward trend in food inflation.

You can access the full study from the links below:

In Turkish:

In English: