Artistic rendering of Earth

El clima extremo y el crecimiento global

CAMBRIDGE – Hasta hace poco, la mayoría de los macroeconomistas pensaban que las variaciones climáticas de corta duración no inciden mucho en la actividad económica. En un marzo de clima excepcionalmente moderado habrá más trabajo de construcción que lo habitual, pero se compensará en abril y mayo. Si una temporada de lluvias en agosto impide a la gente salir de compras, gastarán más en septiembre.

Pero las últimas investigaciones económicas, reforzadas por la extraordinaria intensidad de El Niño (un complejo fenómeno climático mundial marcado por la presencia de aguas excepcionalmente cálidas en el océano Pacífico frente a las costas de Ecuador y Perú), invitan a reconsiderar esta opinión.

Es evidente que el clima extremo incide en importantes estadísticas macroeconómicas de corto plazo. Puede sumar o restar 100 000 puestos al índice mensual de empleo de la economía estadounidense (la estadística más observada del mundo, generalmente considerada una de las más exactas). El impacto de fenómenos climáticos relacionados con El Niño como el de este año (su nombre técnico es “oscilación meridional de El Niño”), puede ser especialmente grande, en virtud de su alcance global.

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