A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that by the end of the century, the number of global warming-related deaths will rival that of deaths caused by all infectious diseases combined. The study estimates that high, uncontrolled greenhouse gas emission rates will increase global mortality rates to 73 deaths per 100,000 people. This number rivals that of deaths caused by all infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, yellow fever and dengue fever.

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Research focused on global death and temperature records. The data showed relationships between increased global heating and some deaths. For instance, the study found a surge in heart attacks during heat waves. The study also detailed direct causes of death, such as heatstroke related to global warming.

Amir Jina, environmental economist at the University of Chicago and co-author of the study, said, “A lot of older people die due to indirect heat affects. It’s eerily similar to Covid – vulnerable people are those who have pre-existing or underlying conditions. If you have a heart problem and are hammered for days by the heat, you are going to be pushed towards collapse.”

The study also discusses how global warming-related health risks will most affect poor communities in hotter regions of the world. Countries in the tropics, such as Ghana, Bangladesh, Sudan and Pakistan, already face an additional 200 deaths per 100,000 people. In contrast, countries such as Canada and Norway experience lower death rates due to cooler temperatures. This means that the richer countries may experience less of global warming’s effects despite contributing the most to greenhouse gas emissions.

Still, even for generally colder, richer nations, climate change’s effects are closer than they seem. In recent years, heat waves have hit parts of the U.S., Europe and Arctic. Estimates forecast that 2020 may be the hottest year in recorded world history, potentially causing more deaths than in previous years.

+ National Bureau of Economic Research

Via The Guardian

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