Climate Change Affects Education


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Global warming: it’s a hot topic in politics these days. As scientists continue to study the effects of extreme temperature changes, they’re finding the phenomenon is doing more than just heating up the weather.

You’ve probably heard about how global warming impacts the earth, but can it also affect children’s education?  Scientists investigated whether exposure to adverse climate conditions, such as extreme temperatures or weather events, influenced a child’s schooling later on. They used historical climate and census data from 29 different countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. The study included 13.8 million children.

Results showed, in Southeast Asia, exposure to higher temperatures during early life, which was defined as prenatal time through five years old, was associated with fewer years of schooling. In the hottest regions of west and central Africa and Southeast Asia, greater rainfall in early life was linked to higher levels of education. But in hurricane-prone countries in Central America and the Caribbean, more rainfall predicted lower education attainment. The researchers say this data shows extreme global weather changes can have a negative impact on children’s education.

Interestingly, the scientists found children in families where parents had at least a secondary school education tended to be affected by climate conditions the most.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Writer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.