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More People Die Of Cold Than Heat

June 22, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




Amidst all the talk of people dying in heatwaves, we need to remember that many, many more people die of the cold than the heat.

This is self evident in the UK, where the ONS routinely calculate excess winter deaths each year. They never count summer ones, as that is when death rates are lowest.




But what is maybe less well known is that the same applies even in hot countries, as this study published in the Lancet last year showed:


Cold weather is 20 times as deadly as hot weather, and it’s not the extreme low or high temperatures that cause the most deaths, according to a study published Wednesday.

The study — published in the British journal The Lancet — analyzed data on more than 74 million deaths in 13 countries between 1985 and 2012. Of those, 5.4 million deaths were related to cold, while 311,000 were related to heat.

Because the study included countries under different socio-economic backgrounds and with varying climates, it was representative of temperature-related deaths worldwide, the study said. The sharp distinction between heat- and cold-related deaths is because low temperatures cause more problems for the body’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems, it added.

"Public-health policies focus almost exclusively on minimizing the health consequences of heat waves," Gasparrini said. "Our findings suggest that these measures need to be refocused and extended to take account of a whole range of effects associated with temperature."

This report backs up a U.S. study last year from the National Center for Health Statistics, which found that cold kills more than twice as many Americans as heat.


Of course, we can’t get away without any mention of climate change, with the US Today article concluding:


The most recent study doesn’t project what its findings could mean for the future, particularly with climate change warming much of the globe over the next century.

"Extrapolating the results of this study for this purpose would only provide speculations not based on evidence," Gasparrini said. However, he has received a grant from the United Kingdom to study that and hopes "we will answer this question soon," he said.

Where there’s money, there’s a way!

And why am I not surprised to discover that it is the UK that wants to waste money on the exercise?

  1. Broadlands permalink
    June 22, 2016 4:23 pm

    In addition, many of these in the Summer may be the result of increases in crime in hot weather.

    Climate and Crime, in Cleveland, Ohio, 1999-2004…

  2. June 22, 2016 4:24 pm

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Where there’s money, there’s a way.”

    Spot-on Paul.

    The climate crisis gravy-train rolls on unabated, with yet another ‘study’, no doubt driven by catastrophic RCP8.5 computer model sulimulations.

    Just another day in the Orwellian, agitprop world of climate ‘science’…

  3. Ben Vorlich permalink
    June 22, 2016 4:34 pm

    I think that other studies have shown that deaths due to heatwaves are in the main people already had serious health issues and death is brought forward a few weeks or months. On the other hand deaths due to cold, although again the more vulnerable are affected to a greater extent, are brought forward by months and years

    • A C Osborn permalink
      June 22, 2016 4:51 pm

      The key to it all of course is cheap energy for Heating or Cooling for the masses.
      Not wasting Trillions on Climate Change.

  4. manicbeancounter permalink
    June 22, 2016 6:58 pm

    From the Lancet article, Table 2 backs up their findings that more should be done to look at cold weather related deaths.

    The hottest countries are Brazil followed by Australia. Both have much higher cold related deaths than heat related. There limits to what can be done to reduce these statistics. Japan, with the about the highest life expectancy in the world has the second highest cold related death rates. This might be due to the very success of medical care, longevity is partly due to people surviving in very vulnerable states of health for long periods.

  5. June 22, 2016 7:06 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Hajat et al. (2002) has been used widely to warn us to batten the hatches and pray for forgiveness ‘cos we are gonna burn. I looked at the chart and saw not a hot hell that awaits but a cold one.

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      June 22, 2016 7:23 pm

      The Lancet article has similar images for a number of cities. In general it is the cold that is worst. Toronto and Stockholm are two notable exceptions. It could be that extreme winter cold toughens people up.

  6. June 22, 2016 7:07 pm

    But what about all those millions of ‘climate refugees’ running away from the extra heat and its consequences – anybody spotted them yet?

    • RAH permalink
      June 25, 2016 4:29 am

      They’re hiding under rocks and ice in Antarctica.

      BTW having spent a lot of time out doors in tough conditions as an SF soldier with 8 1/2 years on teams I would say that cold is far more dangerous than heat for a person in a good state of health. As long as you can get good water you can survive the heat. But there are times that hypothermia can be almost unavoidable in certain condtions. Cold hard rain followed by a fast hard freeze can damned dangerous even for an experienced outdoorsman/woman in certain conditions. During my time in SF doing primarily Alpine and cold weather training I suffered hypothermia twice. And another time my clothes were frozen like cardboard and my hands were useless. These days at least we have the wonders of Gortex and polyfill or other synthetic insulators that maintain pretty good insulation properties even when wet.

  7. joekano76 permalink
    June 22, 2016 10:08 pm

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  8. June 23, 2016 1:37 am

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  9. Tim Hammond permalink
    June 23, 2016 8:01 am

    My father died a few years ago in the winter – can I sue Greenpeace?

  10. Richard permalink
    June 23, 2016 5:06 pm

    Ah yes, we’ll happily use this to our advantage to promote the idea that global warming is a good thing. But as soon as someone says such extrapolation is speculative, we’ll just do the ad hominem thing and say it’s all about the money.

  11. June 29, 2016 6:05 pm

    There is one exception to this rule that increased temperature is beneficial and that is in the Islamic world: Ramadan death tolls would certainly increase if the temperature were to increase.

    However, one Muslim friend of mine once told me that he thought that Mohamed invoked the fasting to clear out the old-guard. This seems like a good idea to me: maybe all politicians should fast during July!

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