Hotter weather leads to lower exam results, according to a new study from Harvard University, the University of California and Georgia State University. What's more, hot weather may reduce learning in both the short term and long term. Researchers reported that hot weather on test days and higher than average temperatures throughout the school year resulted in poorer grades. The study is the first major research into the effect of heat on students in the USA. Researchers analyzed how test scores from 10 million American students were impacted by the weather. Their findings showed that an average temperature increase of just 0.55ºC over one year resulted in a one per cent decrease in learning.
The research is in a paper called "Heat and Learning" and was published last month by the USA's National Bureau of Economic Research. One of the more concerning conclusions contained in the study is that global warming may affect learning and the income-earning potential of students around the world. The researchers predicted that if global temperatures continued to rise, the average American student could lose $25,000 in income over their lifetime because of lower exam results. Using air conditioning in classrooms could circumvent this. The researchers also found that hotter weather was, "particularly damaging...for low income and minority students" across the USA.