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Excess heat killed tens of thousands of Europeans this century

19 Jul 2023 | Science Notes

Aha! shout the alarmists. Gotcha! Told you so! But they should let us finish the headline, because it continues that excess cold killed hundreds of thousands. Oh really? Yes. It’s our summary of a new study in The Lancet (h/t the Global Warming Policy Foundation) which presents a study of 854 urban areas in Europe over the years 2000 to 2019, and finds that after taking into account all the usual risk factors, the role of temperature swings on excess deaths in every age group was important, but by and large excess cold killed ten times more Europeans than excess heat. Of course there’s nothing global warming cannot do, including freeze people to death, so naturally the authors speculate that: “As climate change is expected to increase the burden of hot days and add unprecedented cold and heat events at high risks of causing deaths, these results allow for an accurate representation of the risks caused by changes in temperature.” But setting that verbiage aside, the bottom line is that any plausible amount of warming in the next century will eliminate a lot more deaths related to cold than it adds to those related to heat.

The study is novel in several ways. First, they only looked at EU cities with more than 50,000 people, which means they confined attention to the places where most Europeans live. Second, they took account of a lot of confounding influences like income and age, to help them isolate temperature influences on death rates. And third, unlike a lot of studies in the climate-change-will-kill-us-all genre, they looked at the effects not just of excess heat but of excess cold as well.

Turns out it’s the cold that really counts. Not surprisingly the oldest people are most at risk: 60% of the deaths were of people 85 or older. And cold is the main culprit. Across Europe as a whole, they attributed about 204,000 deaths to cold weather and about 20,000 to hot weather. On a scaled basis they attributed 129 deaths per 100,000 to cold weather and only 13 deaths per 100,000 to hot weather.

So cold is much deadlier than heat in cities across Europe. We can add this result to similar ones we’ve reported on in the USA, Mexico, Portugal, the UK, Australia and many other regions, i.e. wherever people live. Because while humans can usually adapt to a temporary bout of hot weather, cold kills. And if climate change brings us longer warm seasons and less cold, it will save lives. Whereas deliberately increasing the cost of heating your home in a futile effort to avoid heating the planet will take them.

2 comments on “Excess heat killed tens of thousands of Europeans this century”

  1. More evidence for the Climate Change POLICY Crimes Against Humanity Trials, to be held in a poor African nation.

  2. If the Climate Alarmists get their way,a lot more people will die of cold than heat.They will freeze to death.

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