A new study looks at the projected effects of global warming on heat-related deaths. The findings show that limiting this by just 1.5 degrees C could reduce the related death toll by thousands in the United States alone. The study is reported in Science Advances.
Exploring the Mortality related to Global Warming
Global warming is an important socio-economic topic today. It is caused by excess greenhouse gases primarily produced by combustion of various fuels. The Paris Agreement was put in place for nations around the world to come together to agree on collectively reducing the production and emission of greenhouse gases for the good of the entire planet. Its goal is to contain global warming at a maximum of 2 degrees C by the year 2100.
The study looked at 15 cities in particularly to project heat-related death rates. These U.S. cities included New York, Miami, and Chicago. Projections were made of the global warming induced deaths using climate data recovered over 30 years. The researchers found that by keeping global warming within the terms of the Paris Agreement, this could equate to between 75 and 1,980 fewer deaths in the 15 cities looked at. This is in comparison with a situation where global warming was to be as high as 3 degrees C. Further limitations to 1.5 degrees could see the number of deaths decrease by between 114 and 2,716.
The main cause of death looked at in the study was heat stroke. Exposure to great heat can be deadly. There are also other health effects. Some groups of the population are more vulnerable to such conditions, and these include older people and people without access to good air conditioning.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believes that the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C is not stringent enough to mitigate the potential risks to climate patterns and life on Earth.