Friday, July 08, 2016

Climate Change to Blame for Deaths in 2003 Heat Wave, New Study Says

Researchers tie deaths in London and Paris to global warming, the first model to determine a direct climate tie to deaths.

A Paris heatwave killed more than 700 people, more than half attributable to climate change, a new study says. (Credit: Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
The first attempt by scientists to assess the role of climate change in the deadly European heat waves of 2003 has attributed about half of the 1,050 deaths in Paris and London that summer to the effects of global warming.

Tens of thousands of people, many of them elderly, died in France and other European nations in one of the most notable extreme weather events since the turn of the century.  The implication of the study, published Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters, is that manmade climate change was largely responsible for the disaster.

"Other studies have looked at how humans have changed the frequencies of heat waves, or they've looked at how heat affects mortality," said Daniel Mitchell, a researcher with the Environmental Change Institute and lead author on the study. "But no studies looked directly at how human-induced climate change has impacted mortality in these extreme heat waves. Our study was the first to directly model that and put a number on how many deaths there were in these two cities for the 2003 heat wave, or in fact for any heat wave. "

Researchers from the University of Oxford, Public Health England, the UK's Center for Ecology and Hydrology, as well as Reading University and the Union of Concerned Scientists, merged climate data with health data to determine the likelihood that a warming climate had influenced the death toll.

Read more at Climate Change to Blame for Deaths in 2003 Heat Wave, New Study Says

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