Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heat will kill more than cold in Europe eventually

AP: A new study says one of the few benefits of global warming — fewer deaths from the combination of extreme heat and cold — may eventually melt away in Europe. For years, scientists figured that with global warming there are fewer overall temperature-related deaths when those from heat waves and cold snaps are combined. The increase in heat wave deaths during hotter spells is more than offset by reduced cold deaths in milder winters.

But a new study in Europe finds that around 2040, the increase in heat deaths will likely outweigh the reduction in cold deaths. The study suggests that by 2070, global warming may cause 15,000 more temperature-related deaths a year in Europe, which has less air conditioning than the United States.

The study released Tuesday by Nature Communications looks only at deaths from heat and cold, not increases from flooding, droughts and storms. It used computer models to analyze the climate under global warming and compares those to death rates in 200 separate regions of Europe….

The Grim Reaper on a cottage in Netton Street. Shot by Trish Steel, Wikimedia Commons via Geograph UK, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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