Saturday, February 16, 2008

Potential heat wave mortality in the UK

Reuters: There is a 25 percent chance that a severe heat wave will strike England and kill more than 6,000 people before 2017 if no action is taken to deal with the health effects of climate change, a report said on Tuesday. The report for the Department of Health estimated more than 3,000 people could die in an intense summer hot spell in southeast England, with just as many more dying from heat-related deaths over the summer.

Until 2012, when London stages the summer Olympic Games, the odds of thousands dying in summer heat each year will be 1 in 40, the report said, and thousands more could die each year as a result of other effects of global warming and air pollution. "In terms of conventional thinking about risks to health, a risk of 1 in 40 is high," the report said.

Tens of thousands died across Europe in a heat wave during the summer of 2003, including over 14,000 people in France, but so far people living in Britain have coped with rising temperatures. Although more summer deaths are expected, fewer people will die in Britain as a result of cold winter weather, as the world warms up because of rising carbon emissions from human activity.

The report, an update of a 2002 study, was re-issued on the same day London's mayor said owners of the most polluting cars will have to pay 25 pounds a day to drive them in the city centre in a measure to cut down on carbon emissions.

Photo of Oxford Street in 1875, London, via English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons

1 comment:

Dan Powell said...

I have recently come across products which are not really new, just new to me, that are called solar blinds / solar screens / and so on which are installed on the outside of south and west facing windows to prevent most of the sun's UV rays from even hitting the windows.

There are lots of different manufactures out there. The one we like cost less than $3 US and can be installed easily on any type of window frame.

I really like the idea to help reduce air conditioning costs (and damaging hard wood flooring, etc.). And, if we do encounter power outages this summer causing air conditioners to stop, these won't keep the house cool but at least they will help reduce the amount of heat build up.

We just purchased some and are going to try them this spring.