Climate change could lead to the collapse of Israel's economy within a few decades, says a new study. According to researchers, climate change will cause growth to slow by 2055, when it will halt and significantly shrink by 2100.
The article Nature Magazine said climate change has clear effects on national economies. On the micro level, hotter weather decreases productivity and efficiency.
On the other hand, information about the macro level is uncertain. Past studies have shown that in hot countries, a higher temperature damaged the economy, while air conditioned country had no such damage. This seeming contradiction drove the new study, which collected data from 166 countries about events in the last 50 years.
According to the study, Israel faces major problems. The warming predicted to occur in the region could slow economic growth until it halts completely in 2055. The economy will then begin to shrink significantly.
The study predicts that in 2100, Israel's per capita GDP will be 60-70 percent lower than it would be without any change in climate. In other words, the per capita GDP in 2100 is expected to be identical to that of today.
Compare this to Slovenia, which currently has a lower per capita GDP than Israel, but is expected to have an eight times greater per capita GDP than Israel in 2100. Canada's per capita GDP is now 1.5 times Israel's, and is expected to be 28 times greater by 2100.
The growing realization that adjustment to climate change can only occur through global cooperation has raised proposals for organized immigration to currently colder areas from hot ones in order to preempt serious damage to the population and the global economy, and in order to take advantage of huge areas near the north pole that will likely become habitable in the future.
Such immigration has already begun, to a degree – many refugees from Africa and Arab countries left their home countries because of wars and conflicts sparked by rises in food prices caused by climate change.