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The UK heat wave death toll: alarmists wrong again

14 Sep 2022 | Science Notes

According to NotALotofPeopleKnowThat, former UK government Chief Science Advisor and perennial climate alarmist Sir David King warned the nation that the heat wave in July would lead to at least 10,000 deaths. The heat wave, it should be noted, lasted all of 2 days, and the death toll for the month of July compared to the average of previous years was, according to the UK Office for National Statistics, down, not up. Wot?

Specifically the ONS stated (in item 7):

“In England, 36,967 deaths occurred in July 2022 (and were registered by 7 August 2022). This was 1,702 fewer deaths than the five-year average (2016 to 2019, and 2021) for July (4.4% lower). In July 2022, of all deaths that occurred, 1,681 deaths (4.5%) were due to coronavirus (COVID-19). In Wales, 2,463 deaths occurred in July 2022 (and were registered by 7 August 2022). This was 104 fewer deaths than the five-year average (4.1% lower). Of all deaths that occurred in July 2022, 114 (4.6%) were due to COVID-19.”

The ONS defines a “heat period” rather broadly, being days when the Central England temperature average is above 20 degrees C or when a heat alert is issued. Regarding deaths during the 19 heat period days in July, they went on:

“Average daily death occurrences during these dates (1,224 deaths for England and 83 deaths for Wales) were higher than the rest of July (1,149 deaths for England and 74 deaths for Wales; a 6.5% and 12.3% excess, respectively). This was even more pronounced for deaths due to COVID-19, which were 31.1% higher in England (60 deaths during heat-period days and 46 deaths on other days) and 33.6% higher in Wales (4 deaths on heat-period days and 3 deaths on other days). Excess deaths during this period could be because of a combination of factors, not just the increase in heat. Further investigation is required to understand this fully, including more deaths being registered.”

So, during the days with warm weather a slight increase in deaths per day was noted. But the agency didn’t assume it was due to the heat since other factors were also involved, including higher COVID-19 mortality.

As for trends over time, you can see for yourself the ravages of climate change, with the January-to-July mortality rates down in both England and Wales.

But you can hardly expect a famous scientist and climate activist like Sir David King to, you know, look this stuff up. Such basic statistics are undergraduate level.

3 comments on “The UK heat wave death toll: alarmists wrong again”

  1. I may be reading this wrong, but I'm having trouble with the mortality data. This article indicates a declining mortality rate, whereas all cause mortality rates I'm seeing around the discussion of Covid and it's implications to longevity show an increase in mortality rates. This data comes from several countries including the UK.

  2. A 68 deg F high in the CONUS is usually a July cold wave…even 30 deg C, or 85 deg F, wouldn’t be considered abnormally warm in July anywhere except maybe around Seattle.

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