Photograph: A doctor carries ice cubes to help cool down a patient suffering from hyperthermia, during the Paris heatwave of August 2003. By: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images.
This article was originally published in The Guardian on 8 July 2016.
Manmade climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths by about 70% in Paris and 20% in London in 2003, research shows.
Hundreds of deaths in the searing European heatwave of 2003 can be attributed to manmade climate change, say scientists.
Researchers calculated that 506 out of 735 heat-related deaths recorded that summer in Paris – the hottest city – were due to global warming.
The impact of climate change was less severe in London, where 64 out of 315 deaths were blamed on manmade effects.
Scientists arrived at the figures after combining climate model simulations of the 2003 heatwave with a health impact assessment.
They found that human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths by about 70% in central Paris and 20% in London.
The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, looked at the three summer months from June to August.
Lead researcher Dr Daniel Mitchell, from Oxford University, said: “It is often difficult to understand the implications of a planet that is 1C warmer than pre-industrial levels in the global average, but we are now at the stage where we can identify the cost to our health of manmade global warming.
“This research reveals that in two cities alone hundreds of deaths can be attributed to much higher temperatures resulting from human-induced climate change.”
Note to readers:
The ENHANCE project focuses on 10 case studies. One of them analyses the “Health preparedness and heat wave response plans” in Europe.
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