Hot weather lowers exam results, according to a new study from three universities in the USA. Heat may reduce learning in both the short and long term. Researchers say hot weather on test days, and higher than average yearly temperatures resulted in poorer grades. The study is the first major research into how heat affects students in the USA. Researchers analyzed how the weather affected test scores from 10 million American students. Their findings showed that an average temperature rise of just 0.55ºC over one year led to a one per cent decrease in learning.
The research is in a paper called "Heat and Learning" and was published last month. One of the more worrying conclusions in the study is that global warming may affect learning and the future income of students around the world. The researchers said that if global temperatures continued to rise, the average American student could lose $25,000 over their lifetime because of lower test scores. Air conditioning in classrooms could stop this. The researchers also found that hotter weather was, "particularly damaging...for low income and minority students".