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Expand chart
Adapted from Verisk Maplecroft; Chart: Axios Visuals

As the world's climate changes, heat waves may become difficult for people to tolerate in certain parts of the world — and this could have an impact on the global economy.

Why it matters: Economies that are heavily dependent on extractive industries — such as mining, oil and gas drilling, and agriculture — could find themselves at a disadvantage if particular climate change projections become a reality, according to a new report by the risk analysis firm Verisk Maplecroft.

Although the report has not been peer reviewed in a scientific journal, its conclusions are supported by other scientific studies warning of intolerable heat waves that could be life-threatening for outdoor workers.

  • In particular, thresholds for dangerous heat waves could be crossed sooner in tropical countries than in higher latitudes

The details: According to the new analysis, heat stress could cause economic disruptions in both the developing and developed world by putting exports at risk.

The area with the greatest share of exports at risk is West Africa, particularly Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire, which depend on extractive industries (Nigeria) and agricultural exports (Cote d’Ivoire).

"Heat stress will reduce worker productivity; it will hit commercial performance; and some supply chains will become less stable as a result. Reduced export revenues also mean less money available to governments to spend on combatting the worst impacts of rising heat," Alice Newman, an environment and climate change analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, told Axios in an email.

  • The report relies on observed and projected daily temperatures from Verisk's heat stress indices — air temperature plus humidity levels — for the period from 1980 to 2045, as well as data on export economies.

"Heat stress can reduce worker productivity by causing dehydration and fatigue, leading to slower work and, in extreme instances, death," the report states.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.