Third of heat-related deaths caused by manmade global warming – study

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

The estimates, using data from 732 locations in 43 countries, indicated 37 per cent of all heat-related deaths in the recent summer periods were attributable to the warming of the planet because of human activities. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the University of Bern within the Multi-Country Multi-City (MCC) Collaborative Research Network also estimated the number of deaths from human-induced climate change that occurred in specific cities.

In the UK, 35 percent of heat-related deaths could be attributed to human-induced climate change, which corresponds to approximately 82 deaths in London, 16 deaths in Manchester, 20 in West Midlands or four in Bristol and Liverpool every summer season.

The study, published in Nature Climate Change yesterday, found that while, on average, more than one third of heat-related deaths are due to human-induced climate change, the impact varies substantially across regions – with casualties ranging from a few dozen to several hundred deaths each year per city.

The authors said the research is evidence of the need to adopt strong mitigation policies to reduce future warming.

The research is also an argument for the implementation of interventions to protect populations from the adverse consequences of heat exposure, they added.

Dr Ana Vicedo-Cabrera, from the University of Bern and first author of the study, said: “We expect the proportion of heat-related deaths to continue to grow if we don’t do something about climate change or adapt.

“So far, the average global temperature has only increased by about 1C, which is a fraction of what we could face if emissions continue to grow unchecked.”

The findings are based on simulations of climate, with and without human-induced emissions.

This allowed scientists to separate the warming and related health impact linked with human activities from natural trends.

Professor Antonio Gasparrini from LSHTM, senior author of the study and coordinator of the MCC Network, said: “This is the largest detection & attribution study on the current health risks of climate change.

“The message is clear: climate change will not just have devastating impacts in the future, but every continent is already experiencing the dire consequences of human activities on our planet. We must act now.”

Source: Read Full Article