The number of heat deaths in Athens is growing from year to year

According to a new international scientific study, the largest of its kind, more than one in three deaths (37%) are attributed to the rise in air temperatures over the past three decades, due to anthropogenic climate change.

Research shows that over time, the most extreme temperatures and the most frequent heat waves in the summer lead to more deaths. Scientists noted that, as the data shows, a higher percentage of deaths due to climate change are gradually being observed in warmer countries of southern Europe, such as Greece.

The level of “blame” for climate change varies around the world from country to country and from city to city. In Athens, 26.1%, or at least one in four heat-related deaths, may be due to climate change, according to a study.

The study published a report in the journal Nature Climate Change that analyzed data from 1991 to 2018 from 732 locations in 43 countries, including Greece, and for the first time estimates how temperature increases due to human activity actually contribute to an increase in mortality from – for the heat.

On the Greek side, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology Clea Katsuyanni from EKPA School of Medicine and Imperial College London School of Public Health (Σχολής του ΕΚΠΑ and Σχολής Δημόσιας Υγείας του Κολλεγλου Imperial

The study estimates that 37% of global heatwave deaths are attributed to climate change, with the highest rates in Central and South America (up to 76%, for example, in Ecuador and Colombia), as well as in Southeast Asia (from 48 % to 61%, depending on the country).

In terms of specific cities, an estimated 189 additional deaths each year are due to climate change in Athens (26.1% of all heat-related deaths overall), 172 in Rome (32%), 156 in Tokyo (36%) , 177 in Madrid (32%), 146 in Bangkok (53.4%), 82 in London (33.6%) and 141 in New York (44.2%).

Ms Cabrera, head of the research team of scientists, says: “We expect heat-related deaths to continue to rise unless we take action on climate change or adaptation. So far, the average global temperature has only risen by about one degree Celsius, which is a small fraction of what we can handle if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unchecked. ”

The researchers noted that climate affects human health in a variety of ways, directly and indirectly, from heat stress, fires and increased air pollution to extreme weather events and the spread of infectious disease-carrying insects.

When people are frequently exposed to high temperatures, the likelihood of death increases.

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