View Full Version : Climate Change May Cause Significant Increase In Heat-Related Premature Mortality By The 2050s, New

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09-30-2007, 02:00 PM
Researchers estimate a 47 percent to 95 percent increase in heat-related premature deaths by the 2050s due to climate change in the New York City region.

Researchers projected the future impacts of climate change on summer heat-related premature deaths in the New York City metropolitan area. Current and future climates were stimulated with a global-to-regional climate modeling system. Summer heat-related premature deaths in the 1990s and 2050s were estimated by using a range of scenarios and approaches to modeling acclimatization. Projected increases in heat-related premature mortality in the 2050s ranged from 47 percent to 95 percent, with a mean of 70 percent when compared to the 1990s. Acclimatization effects, which can include increased use of air conditioning, heat alerts and cooling shelters as well as gradual physiological acclimatization, reduced regional increases in projected heat-related premature mortality by about 25 percent. These results are consistent with previous studies that have applied climate model projections in mortality assessments and fall within the range of values suggested for other U.S. and European cities.

"In the future, integrated climate-health modeling systems could help reveal the geography of local vulnerabilities to climate change, which have been associated with poverty, social isolation and lack of access to medical care," the study's authors said. "Health impact assessment tools may eventually help local planners develop climate impact adaptations that are more efficient and inform the greenhouse gas regulatory process now emerging in the United States and elsewhere." [From: Projecting Heat-Related Mortality Impacts Under a Changing Climate in the New York City Region. Contact: Kim Knowlton, DrPH, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY, [email protected] .]

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