Mortality Statistics During July 2015 Heatwave
By Paul Homewood
Every summer we hear that thousands of people are dying in Britain because of heatwaves.
Only last summer the Committee on Climate Change published a report claiming:
currently 2,000 people die prematurely each year in the UK from heat-related conditions.”
We now have the mortality data for last year from the ONS, so we can analyse what happened in July 2015, when the new “record” temperature for July was set next to the runway at Heathrow.
First, let’s look at the Central England Temperatures for that period:
The real heat began on the first of the month, although the day before was also warm at 28.2C.
And when we look at the mortality statistics, we find that they did indeed peak on the 1st and 2nd:
Deaths on those two days were in fact 415 above the 5-year average.
But the real question is whether these deaths would have occurred anyway, and were simply brought forward by a few days.
To test this, we can look at the death totals as they accumulated through the month:
We find that after the first four days of the month the number of excess deaths begins to decline. By July 26th, death totals are virtually back to average, only 15 above normal.
The running total does begin to pick up slightly at the end of the month, but this was at a time when temperatures were at their lowest.
This was, of course, a short lived heatwave, and there is little doubt we would see more deaths in the sort of more sustained heatwaves seen in 1976 and 2003.
But there is certainly no evidence that excess deaths are occurring because of the sort of hot weather this country experiences during most summers.