2021-06-18

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change

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Used from 43 countries around the world For the first time, data from 732 locations show the actual contribution of man-made climate change to increasing the risk of death due to heat.

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change

In general, the estimated results show that In the recent summer, 37% of all heat-related deaths can be attributed to global warming caused by human activities. In Central and South America (such as Ecuador or Colombia as high as 76%) and Southeast Asia (between 48% and 61%), this percentage of heat-related deaths due to human-induced climate change is the highest.

The estimated results also show the number of deaths caused by human-induced climate change in specific cities; Santiago, Chile, increases by 136 deaths each year (accounting for 44.3% of the city’s total heat-related deaths). 189 in Athens (26.1%), 172 in Rome (32%), 156 in Tokyo (35.6%), 177 in Madrid (31.9%), 146 in Bangkok (53.4%), 82 in London (33.6%), and 141 in New York People (44.2%), and 137 people (48.5%) in Ho Chi Minh City. The authors say their findings further demonstrate the need for strong mitigation policies to reduce future warming and implement interventions to protect the population from the adverse effects of high temperature exposure.

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change(1)

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change(2)

Dr. Ana M. Vicedo-Cabrera of the University of Bern and the first author of the study said: “We expect that if we Without some measures or adjustments to climate change, the proportion of heat-related deaths will continue to grow. So far, the global average temperature has only risen by about 1°C. This is only possible if our emissions continue to grow uncontrollably A small part of the face.”

Global warming is affecting our health in many ways, from direct effects related to wildfires and extreme weather, to changes in vector-borne diseases, and so on. Perhaps the most striking is the increase in heat-related mortality and morbidity. Scenarios of future climatic conditions predict that the average temperature will rise sharply, and extreme events such as heat waves will lead to an increase in related health burdens in the future. However, until now, no studies have been conducted on the extent of these effects that have occurred in recent decades.

This new research focuses on man-made global warming through a “detection and attribution” study that identifies and attributes observed phenomena to changes in climate and weather. Specifically, the research team checked the weather conditions simulated in the past with and without man-made emissions. This allows researchers to separate the warming and related health effects associated with human activities from natural trends. Heat-related mortality is defined as the number of deaths due to heat, which occur during exposure above the optimal temperature for human health, which is different in different places.

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change(3)

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change(4)

One-third of high-temperature-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change(5)

Although, on average, more than one-third of high-temperature deaths are caused by human-induced climate change, the impacts vary greatly from region to region. As shown in the figure above, the number of deaths due to climate-related heat injuries varies from dozens to hundreds in each city each year, depending on the local climate change and the vulnerability of the population in each region. Interestingly, people living in low- and middle-income countries, who used to account for only a small part of man-made emissions, have become the most affected people.

In the United Kingdom, 35% of heat-related deaths can be attributed to human-induced climate change, which is equivalent to approximately 82 deaths in London each summer, 16 deaths in Manchester, and 16 deaths in Simi Twenty people died in Derain and four in Bristol and Liverpool.

Professor Antonio Gasparrini from LSHTM, senior author of the study and coordinator of the MCC network said. “This is the largest detection and attribution study on the current health risks of climate change. The message is clear: not only will climate change have destructive effects in the future, but every continent is already experiencing human activities on our planet. Terrible consequences. We must act now.”

The authors acknowledge the limitations of the study, including the inability to include locations in all regions of the world due to lack of empirical data-such as most of Africa and South Asia.