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Heat related deaths

Heat related deaths 1 June 2021

Human–induced global heating ‘causes over a third of heat deaths’ (via The Guardian)

By Natalie Grover

More than a third of all heat–related deaths around the world between 1991 and 2018 can be attributed to human–induced global heating, research has found.

Climate breakdown has a range of effects ranging from wildfires to extreme weather. As the temperatures rise, more intense and frequent heatwaves disproportionately affect elderly people and those with underlying chronic conditions such as asthma, making them more vulnerable to disease and premature death.

study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, used data from 732 locations in 43 countries to calculate the number of deaths attributed to heat levels higher than the ideal temperature for human health, which varies across locations.

The researchers examined past weather conditions simulated under scenarios with and without emissions triggered by human activity – allowing them to separate the warming and related health impact linked with human activity from natural trends.

Overall, they found 37% of all heat–related deaths in the locations studied were attributable to human activity – but the largest climate change–induced contributions (more than 50%) were in southern and western Asia (Iran and Kuwait), south–east Asia (the Philippines and Thailand) and Central and South America.

This data suggests the health effects of rapid warming are already being felt even at these relatively early stages of potential catastrophic changes in climate, said the senior study author, Prof Antonio Gasparrini of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Read the full story here.