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Singapore is known for its vibrant cityscape and stunning sunsets, but a recent study has revealed that the country’s economic losses due to heat stress could almost double to $1.64 billion in 2035 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2018. The National University of Singapore found that heat strain caused an 11.3% decrease in average productivity across Singapore’s major economic sectors in 2018, including services, construction, manufacturing, and agriculture. This decline is expected to worsen in the coming years, with productivity expected to fall by 14% in 2035.

Workers who are exposed to adverse environmental conditions, such as working under the sun or being exposed to heat from machinery, face higher productivity losses. On average, workers lose around S$21 in median income for each hot day. Project HeatSafe is the first major study in Singapore and the wider region to analyze the impact of rising temperatures on productivity and health at both individual and macroeconomic levels.

The study highlights that Singapore is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the world, with the UV index reaching extreme levels recently. This has significant implications for productivity and health in the country. The extreme heat exposure not only affects cognitive capacity and physical exertion but also poses a risk to the country’s already low fertility rate. As global temperatures continue to rise, countries worldwide will need to address the economic and health impacts of extreme heat.

In conclusion, sitting by a pier during sunset may be a beautiful experience in Singapore, but it also highlights a growing concern about the impact of extreme heat on productivity and health. The recent research underscores the need for governments worldwide to take action now before it’s too late.

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