Adaptation and the Mortality Effects of Temperature Across U.S. Climate Regions
Using 20 years of data on Medicare beneficiaries, we predict the end-of-century mortality effects of climate change among the U.S. elderly, accounting at the ZIP code level for both adaptation and regional heterogeneity in the temperature-mortality relationship. We find that this relationship varies systematically with current climate, reflecting both beneficial adaptation to frequently-experienced temperatures and harmful de-adaptation to infrequently experienced temperatures. We model adaptation to future climate using the estimated cross-sectional heterogeneity in temperature effects and combine this with projected end-of-century changes in local temperature distributions to make mortality predictions. Incorporating regional heterogeneity into these predictions reverses the conventional wisdom on the regional distribution of climate change effects: cold places bear more, not less, of the burden. Incorporating adaptation yields mortality effects of climate change that are much lower than those estimated without incorporating adaptation.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23271
Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these: