A new study has found that over a third of heat deaths annually can be directly attributed to climate change, The Associated Press reported. Scientists say that this number is just a fraction of the overall toll from climate change, including deaths related to storms, flooding, and drought.
Heat deaths in 732 cities between 1991 and 2018 were calculated to find the 37% from climate change, a study published in Nature Climate Change found.
“These are deaths related to heat that actually can be prevented. It is something we directly cause,” said Ana Vicedo-Cabrera, an epidemiologist at the Institute of Social and Preventative Medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland.
In the United States, 35% of heat deaths are from climate change. Scientists plotted the global cities’ trends and used models to determine the deaths. Some cities are in better shape due to air conditioning, environmental conditions, and cultural factors.
“People continue to ask for proof that climate change is already affecting our health. This attribution study directly answers that question using state-of-the-science epidemiological methods, and the amount of data the authors have amassed for analysis is impressive,” said Dr. Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin, who was not involved in the study.
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