Dying from heat and cold: which extreme is the more deadly?

Posted: May 30, 2016 by oldbrew in Analysis, climate, weather

Hot or cold[Image credit: BBC]

Hot or cold[Image credit: BBC]

Climate catastrophists should be careful what they wish for, according to this review featured by CO2 Science.

In a review of the human health effects of temperature, Seltenrich (2015) writes that “while isolated heat waves pose a major health risk and grab headlines when they occur, recent research has uncovered a more complex and perhaps unexpected relationship between temperature and public health,” which is, as he continues, that “on the whole, far more deaths occur in cold weather than in hot.”

More specifically, Seltenrich reports that “an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of U.S. temperature-related deaths between 2006 and 2010 showed that 63% were attributable to cold exposure, while only 31% were attributable to heat exposure,” citing National Health Statistics Report No. 76 of the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seltenrich also writes that “in Australia and the United Kingdom, cold-related mortality between 1993 and 2006 exceeded heat-related mortality by an even greater margin, and is likely to do so through at least the end of the century,” citing the study of Vardoulakis et al. (2014).

And, citing the study of Gasparini et al. (2015), he adds that researchers who evaluated 74 million U.K. and U.S. deaths in May of 2015 found that low temperatures were associated with 7.3% of all deaths versus just 0.4% for high temperatures, which equates to a cold-induced/heat-induced mortality ratio of more than 18 to 1.

And, therefore, since Donat et al. (2013) report that “globally averaged minimum temperature extremes are warming faster than maximum temperature extremes,” it would appear that current global warming is actually helping to reduce the yearly number of temperature-related deaths.

Yet, somehow, this good news never seems to get reported in the media.

Paper Reviewed: Seltenrich, N. 2015. Between Extremes: Health Effects of Heat and Cold. Environmental Health Perspectives 123: A276-A280.

Source: Dying from Heat and Cold Which Extreme is the More Deadly | CO2 Science

  1. Joe Public says:

    A summary of the summary from The Lancet’s paper from catweazle666:

    “Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings, published in The Lancet, also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells.”

  2. oldbrew says:

    ‘Most of the temperature-related mortality burden was attributable to the contribution of cold. ‘ – Lancet.

    As the CO2Science report says:

    ‘And, therefore, since Donat et al. (2013) report that “globally averaged minimum temperature extremes are warming faster than maximum temperature extremes,” it would appear that current global warming is actually helping to reduce the yearly number of temperature-related deaths.’

    And since warming has levelled off this century, maybe certain people should stop whingeing for a while at least 😉

  3. E.M.Smith says:

    In my old home town, summer temps were often “110 (F) in the shade…and there ain’t no shade”. That’s 43 C. Highest I personally remember was 117 F or 47 C. On a trip to Phoenix one summer, the airport was shut down in the afternoon as the tarmac was too soft and planes were sinking into it… 126 F per the radio, 128 F informally reported from the airport ( 52 and 53 C). Folks were not dying, but were heading to the pools to swim. In our hotel, the hot tub, by law, could not exceed 114 F, the unregulated pool was warmer… it was solar heated partially by a dark bottom. We had a great time… but would get in the “hot tub” as the cool dip after the pool… then evaporate to cooler under an awning.

    FWIW, one of the “good jobs” in my home turf was at the Prune Dryer. You worked 20 minute IN the oven moving trays of fruit, then spent 40 minutes cooling down (doing nothing…thus making it a primo job) outside… in the 100 to 110 F weather around harvest time. Oven temp was 165 F ( 74 C).

    Heat doesn’t kill, dehydration does… People actively seek out tropical temperature for vacation play… including active outdoor activity. For the first 20+ years of my life I spent most of the hottest 3 months of the year outdoors in that 100 to 117 heat… except when I started working in the peach cannery warehouse. No, it was not air conditioned. There were cans fresh from the cookers at about 200 F in overhead conveyors, and forklift trucks blowing their radiator heat into the space raising temps above the ambient 100+. One August, we did hand stacked on a pallet: 400 cases per hour, 50 lbs per case (about 23 kilos), for a 12 hour shift…as a bit of a dare. If that heat that long doesn’t kill, climate change never will… We did have constant fluids and the occasional salt tablets if needed… sweat pouring off and evaporating constantly…

    Until London is as hot as Phoenix, climate change to warmer is a benefit. There is a reason Phoenix has grown enormously in the last decades, and why Disney World is in Orlando, Florida and not Montreal… and why Florida is stuffed with folks from New York, old York, and Canada.

  4. Climatism says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “It would appear that current global warming is actually helping to reduce the yearly number of temperature-related deaths.
    Yet, somehow, this good news never seems to get reported in the media.”

    Surprise, surprise.

  5. seth says:

    The Anthropogenic part of climate change killed an estimated 160,000 people per year as at 16 years ago. (http://staff.washington.edu/jhannah/geog270aut07/readings/ClimateChange/Patz%20-%20impact%20of%20climate%20change%20on%20health.pdf)

    Limiting the consequences of AGW to the effect of heat waves on people doesn’t draw a very complete picture.

  6. From an early point in this global warming discussion I was aware that the disastrous Scottish famines of the 1690s that so bankrupted Scotland that it was forced to join with England, were due to cold. In the book “the ill years” it is reported that there was snow on the Cairngorms year round and estimates are that 1/3 to 1/5 of the “population” died (this might just be the highland population but it may also be the whole of Scotland).

    Then when I looked at all the major famines in the UK (see image)

    I found that 3 out of 4 could be directly linked to significantly colder periods. It is therefore almost certain that cold has historically been a major killer in the UK. Indeed, given the LACK OF EMIGRATION DURING THE SO CALLED “HIGHLAND CLEARANCES” period, I strongly suspect that the deserted villages in Scotland result from the cold-induced famines of the 1690s. And not from the late adoption of agricultural practices common to most of the rest of the UK and the movement of people to economically prosperous towns (much to the land-owner’s disgust).

    So, why has there been no research (as far as I am aware) beyond the side mention in one PhD that led to the “ill years”?

    The first reason is that the Scottish government and academia do not want the public to know that cold was the cause of the depopulation they want to ascribe to “the English”. Second they don’t want the public to know that cold is a real killer (it’s not very convenient when people are still dying in their thousands from cold – and you are putting up their heating bills by your obsession against fossil fuels – whilst simultaneous telling the public you can fund separation by oil!)

  7. The statistics on heat and cold in the UK are something like this. In 2003 the summer was sufficiently hot that the number of excess deaths from heat were large enough that they could be measured and it is estimated that 2300 people died from heat.

    In contrast Age concern reported work that suggested 23,000 die EACH AND EVERY YEAR from cold. But an Irish study using more sophisticated analysis showed 37,000 each year in the UK. That is 1million extra winter deaths in the UK alone since Hansen turned up the heating at the Congress meeting and lied about the probability of the small rise in temperature being man-made.

    And at the Royal society meeting there was a presentation of climate deaths in India – and surprisingly it was reveal more deaths occur in India in winter than summer. Also the Lancet had a paper (which may be the above one) showing 15x as many deaths globally from cold than heat related causes.

    The evidence that cold is a major killer particularly in the UK but also worldwide has been available for a very long time. And I have no doubt that future generations will cite it as evidence of the immorality of our age.

  8. oldbrew says:

    Seth’s link says:
    ‘The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives annually’

    This is obviously speculative as no reliable data on attribution of reasons for so-called ‘climate change’ (natural v man-made) exists.

    Natural climate variability has always happened and always will.