For those sectors, labour supply and productivity combined are projected to decrease by 9 percentage-points under a 1.5 degrees Celsius warming scenario by 2040, 13.3 percentage-points under 2 degrees Celsius by 2060, and 25.1 percentage-points under 3 degrees Celsius by 2080, the researchers believe. 

These reductions will have negative effects both on Bangladesh’s national output and on individual incomes, which will make it more difficult for Bangladesh to reduce poverty and attain the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. 

It is estimated that the impact of a 3 degrees Celsius global temperature rise could reduce GDP in Bangladesh by 1.7 percent per year by 2037 and by 7.6 percent per year in the long term if there is no climate adaptation. 

ADAPTATION REQUIRED 

The time has come for the people in Bangladesh to adapt to the increasing temperature, said meteorologist Dr Mallick. 

Workers of the marginal groups feel the heat more than others, he said. “When the air is humid or the sky is clear, those working in the open spaces or engaged in physical labour feel the hot temperature more than others. This is because they are exposed to direct sunlight.” 

He said the garment factory workers feel the heat more as they work in a big group and with too many machines around. The temperature is always high inside the factories, he said. 

“Look at the poultry farms, they need to maintain a certain temperature. But when the temperature crosses a threshold, production stops. Excessive heat is bad for animals, the agriculture sector and every other sector.” 

HEALTH RISKS 

The research paper said that increased heat stress is already having a negative impact on workers’ health. This may cause heat stroke, loss of an organ or even death. Also, heat stress-related problems include slower productivity, multiple recess times, reduced mental capacity and loss of physical strength. 

“Physical labourers like rickshaw pullers, and construction workers are exposed to the risk of heat stress more than others. This is because they don’t even have a fan over their head,” said Dr Mushtuq Husain, an advisor to the government’s Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research. 

“They suffer from dehydration in severe heat. They can also suffer from vertigo, stomach ailments, troubled blood circulation, risk of heart attack, and hypertension.” 

Global warming has been causing a change in the traditional six-season weather in the subcontinent, said public health expert Dr Lelin Chowdhury. 

“Sound health has a deep connection with productivity in humans. When there’s excessive heat, people sweat and lose salt and other minerals. Hence, they become weak. Besides this, the human mind is related to physical health.” 

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