A warming climate will almost double the number of deaths from heat waves

(ORDO NEWS) — British climatologists have found that an increase in average annual temperatures on Earth by three degrees Celsius will lead to a 75% increase in the number of deaths associated with heat waves, prolonged droughts and other weather anomalies. This was announced on Monday by the press service of University College London (UCL).

“Most of this increase [in deaths] will be due to more frequent and intensified heat waves, but further increases in average annual temperatures will lead to the fact that people will begin to die more often on ordinary summer days.

This will make it very difficult to predict how the situation will change in future centuries, if the average temperature rises another degree Celsius,” said UCL researcher Cathy Huang, quoted by the university’s press service.

One of the main consequences of global warming is the so-called extreme weather events. By this word, scientists understand periods of abnormally high temperatures in winter, heat waves in summer, week-long heavy rains, droughts and other weather phenomena. Prominent examples of this are the 2012 Krymsk flood and the 2010 summer heat wave in Russia.

According to scientists, the frequency of such phenomena will only increase in the future, they will affect more and more regions of the Earth. According to doctors, this will lead to a sharp increase in mortality and to an increase in the development of various chronic diseases of the lungs and cardiovascular system.

Consequences of global warming

Huang and her colleagues made a detailed forecast of how the death rate associated with heat waves will change in the coming decades. To do this, scientists studied how these indicators changed in England and Wales in past years, comparing these data with current forecasts of how the Earth’s climate will change in the next century.

Their calculations showed that each additional degree of warming disproportionately increased the number of deaths associated with heat waves and other weather anomalies.

In particular, with an increase in the average temperature on Earth by two degrees Celsius, this indicator will hardly change, while an increase in temperature by just one degree will raise its value by 75%.

With an increase in the average annual temperature by six degrees Celsius, the number of deaths associated with heat waves will increase by at least 2.75-3 times.

At the same time, scientists emphasize that in this case they cannot give accurate forecasts, since with such a strong climate warming, ordinary hot summer days will also begin to negatively affect human health.

This feature of heat waves and weather anomalies, according to Huang and her colleagues, must be taken into account when assessing the impact of global warming on the health and well-being of residents of all countries of the world, including states of the temperate climate zone, which in the past were considered relatively weakly vulnerable to this manifestation. global warming.

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