Enduring a brutally hot summer in New York City may end up killing you. A new study released this week says thanks to global warming and the “urban island” effect, NYC mortality rates due to warming temperatures are likely to increase by 20 percent by 2020 and as much as 90 percent by the 2080s. The report, released this week in the Nature Climate Change journal, was conducted by a team of researchers at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in collaboration with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Projections of Seasonal Patterns in Temperature-Related Deaths for Manhattan, New York” is considered to be the most comprehensive evaluation of mortality-related effects of global warming in metropolitan cities. “What our study suggests is that the heat effects of climate change dominate the winter warming benefits that might also come: climate change will cause more deaths through heat than it will prevent during winter,” explained co-researcher Patrick Kinney to The Guardian.
The researchers used 16 global climate models and two emissions scenarios to document the seasonal patterns of present and future changes in temperature-related mortality in Manhattan. They found that the biggest increases in heat-related mortality occur in the months of May through September. This translates into 1,000 deaths annually per Manhattan’s population of 1.6 million residents. According to daily records taken in Central Park, monthly temperatures increased by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from 1901 to 2000. Researchers also projected that future temperature increase can reach 3.3 to 4.2 degrees F more by the 2050s, and 4.3 to 7.1 degrees by the 2080s.
Additional research shows that Manhattan heats up twice as much as any other urban city, which is why climate change initiatives like plaNYC have gone into effect in the last decade. The city has been working to mitigate the effects of heat waves by investing in green roofs and tree planting programs. But if you really want to stay alive and cool this summer, invest in an energy-efficient air conditioner and donate to the city’s most vulnerable residents — the poor, elderly and disabled.
Via Huffington Post