by Seth Borenstein/AP News
More than one-third of the world’s heat deaths each year are due directly to global warming, according to the latest study to calculate the human cost of climate change.
But scientists say that’s only a sliver of climate’s overall toll — even more people die from other extreme weather amplified by global warming such as storms, flooding and drought — and the heat death numbers will grow exponentially with rising temperatures.
Dozens of researchers who looked at heat deaths in 732 cities around the globe from 1991 to 2018 calculated that 37% were caused by higher temperatures from human-caused warming, according to a study Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
That amounts to about 9,700 people a year from just those cities, but it is much more worldwide, the study’s lead author said.
“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.