Researchers predict temperature-related deaths in Manhattan will rise
Every year, New Yorkers suffer through some sweltering summer days. Now researchers predict that climate change will increase the number of deaths related to temperature in Manhattan, mostly because of hotter weather in May and September.
The link between global warming and heat-related deaths isn’t new. But climate change also could reduce cold-related deaths, and the study authors wanted to find out whether the overall number of deaths would rise or fall. They focused on the New York City area, which heated up by 2 degrees Celsius over the last century.
The researchers ran 16 climate models under two emissions scenarios to predict the change in temperature-related deaths in Manhattan over the next several decades. In every case, the increase in heat-related deaths outweighed the decrease in cold-related deaths, they report in Nature Climate Change. For example, one simulation suggested that temperature-related deaths would increase by 15.5 percent from the 1980s to the 2080s.
The reality may turn out to be a bit more complicated. If the number of elderly people goes up, so will the death rate. At the same time, people might be better-protected from hot days if air-conditioning becomes more common or the city issues more extreme weather alerts. — Roberta Kwok | 20 May 2013
Source: Li, T., R.M. Horton, and P.L. Kinney. 2013. Projections of seasonal patterns in temperature-related deaths for Manhattan, New York. Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate1902.
Image © Joshua Haviv | Shutterstock.com
Why is this cockroach taking over America?December 10th, 2013
Tourists: Stop feeding junk food to iguanasDecember 6th, 2013
Eco-label makes coffee taste betterDecember 5th, 2013
The secret to long-lasting strawberriesDecember 3rd, 2013
Cheetahs get helping hand from guard dogsNovember 28th, 2013