More people died of cold than heat over the two-decade period of a recent study. But heat-related deaths were increasing, while cold-linked deaths were dropping
More than five million people die each year globally because of extreme temperature conditions, a 20-year study has found.
The study, published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, studied changing optimal temperatures for people living in different regions. The study found that 9.4 per cent of global deaths each year are attributable to heat or cold exposure.
This is equivalent to 74 extra deaths per 100,000 people. Researchers analysed mortality and weather data from 750 locations in 43 countries between 2000 and 2019. According to the study, average daily temperature in these locations increased by 0.26 degrees Celsius per decade.
The highest heat-related death rate was in eastern Europe while sub-Saharan Africa had the highest death rate linked to cold temperatures. The study found more people had died of cold than heat over the two-decade period. But heat-related deaths were increasing, while cold-linked deaths were dropping.
Even though populations are well adapted to the climates where they live, it is likely to disrupt due to climate change, says the study. The study also advised mitigation techniques like better housing insulation and more solar-powered air conditioning to adapt to new conditions.
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