Johns Hopkins succumbs to heat wave mania

From Johns Hopkins/Bloomberg School of Health, where they apparently haven’t looked at this data before writing a worrying scare story. The simple fact is, record high temperatures are simply not on the increase.

click image for source article

Lots more analysis on the extremes of temperature here

Climate Change Analysis Predicts Increased Fatalities from Heat Waves

heat

Global climate change is anticipated to bring more extreme weather phenomena such as heat waves that could impact human health in the coming decades. An analysis led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health calculated that the city of Chicago could experience between 166 and 2,217 excess deaths per year attributable to heat waves using three different climate change scenarios for the final decades of the 21st century. The study was published May 1 edition of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

“Our study looks to quantify the impact of increased heat waves on human mortality. For major a U.S. city like Chicago, the impact will likely be profound and potentially devastating,” said Roger Peng, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. “We would expect the impact to be less severe with mitigation efforts including lowering CO2 emissions.”

For the analysis, Peng and his colleagues developed three climate change scenarios for 2081 to 2100. The scenarios were based on estimates from seven global climate change models and from mortality and air pollution data for the city of Chicago from 1987 to 2005. The data were limited to the warm season from May to October of each year.

From 1987 to 2005, Chicago experienced 14 heat waves lasting an average of 9.2 days, which resulted in an estimated 53 excess deaths per year. In the future, the researchers calculated that excess mortality attributable to heat waves to range from 166 to 2,217 per year.  According to the researchers, the projections of excess deaths could not be explained by projected increases in city population alone. The exact change due to global warming in annual mortality projections, however, is sensitive to the choice of climate model used in analysis.

“It’s very difficult to make predictions, but given what we know now—absent any form of adaptation or mitigation—our study shows that climate change will exacerbate the health impact of heat waves across a range of plausible future scenarios,” added Peng.

Authors of “Towards a Quantitative Estimate of Future Heat Wave Mortality Under Global Climate Change” include Jennifer F. Bobb of the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Claudia Tebaldi of the University of British Columbia, Larry McDaniel of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Michelle L. Bell of Yale University and Francesca Dominici of Harvard School of Public Health.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Environmental Protection Agency.

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Rhoda Ramirez

All the more reason to keep energy costs low so that affected populations can affort decent air conditioning. (Although I’m sure that isn’t the conclusion the study’s authors want their readers to reach)

P Walker

Models my foot – this sounds like rank speculation . Of course , the EPA partially funded the study .

pat

“Britain’s cold weather: deaths soar as winter takes its toll”
“16 Jan 2010
Deaths leapt by up to a fifth amid the longest spell of bitter weather in recent years, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
Undertakers have reported the busiest winter for several years, with some even forced to take on extra staff to cope.
It comes in the wake of an outcry over the deaths of an elderly couple from Northampton, whose bodies lay in their freezing home, unnoticed for several days.

Last year 36,700 more people died during the winter months than in the summer the worst level for almost a decade.
But there are predictions that this year as many as 45,000 people could die this winter. ”
Hmmm

starzmom

Once again, somebody relies on models as data, not the real data. Garbage in, garbage out.

Latitude

“three different climate change scenarios”
translation: We used three computer games…………

Jay

“For the analysis, Peng and his colleagues developed three climate change scenarios for 2081 to 2100. The scenarios were based on estimates from seven global climate change models ”
What about a scenario where temperatures slowly rise and people slowly adapt to warmer climates?
What about scenarios where the temperature gets colder, and people die from exposure, a statistically more likely one?

Mike Bromley the Kurd

But it “could” be the conclusion reached…

The Engineer

I might be mistaken, but I was under the impression that “global warming” was mainly caused by higher night temperatures – in other words the chart should show the smallest minimums, not the largest.

Robert M

I wonder what mortality will look like when the powers that be squander limited resources to combat warming when we are looking at 20 years of cooling…

General P. Malaise

fear the cold ..my tomatoes don’t grow when the ground is frozen.
how about this ..if heat is bad why do people spend so much money to vacation in tropical places.
unfortunately there is no man made global warming …in fact I’m freezing.

Latitude

Climate Change Analysis Predicts
==================================
This is getting spooky…………
It’s their predictions that have made them the laughing stock….
…but they keep making predictions
These are the same people that try to say “climate is not weather”…
..but for some bizarre sick reason they can’t help it, and are driven to keep
making predictions just like weathermen.
If they are not glorified weathermen, then stop making predictions like weathermen….

Curiousgeorge

Clang, Clang, Clang, Clang, Clang! Pay no attention. That’s just by BS alarm going off.

David, UK

Peng: “We would expect the impact to be less severe with mitigation efforts including lowering CO2 emissions.”
I notice Peng stopped short of telling us by how much CO2 would need to be lowered, and to what effect on temperature said lowering would have. This guy is just another climate whore, who I’m sure won’t be going hungry for grants any time soon.

Mike Bromley the Kurd

It is astounding how similar the language is among all of these types of reports. Cut-and-paste. And none of them posit anything of substance. Maybe’s, perhapses, could-be’s…and out-and-out meaningless drivel like:
“The exact change due to global warming in annual mortality projections, however, is sensitive to the choice of climate model used in analysis.”
THAT essentially means nothing. Or, put another way, “we can’t attribute CAGW as a cause for anything, because we don’t know which model is right”.
Keep trying, Johnny Hops. You might figure it out using a hindcast, then “disappear” the result.

ferdberple

Why did they model 2081-2100? What use is that to anyone? It assumes that we won’t make any technological progress in the next 70 years, which is absurd. 70 years ago houses in Chicago were heated with coal and air-conditioning did not exist. Who can predict what houses will look like 70 years from now.
Why not model 2011-2020? Tell us how many extra deaths there will be due to global warming. US death rates go up in the winter as compared to summer, and overall global warming would be of benefit.
What month has the highest death rate?
Between 1995–2004 the average daily mortality rate differs with each month. The rate is highest in January averaging 430 a day.
http://www.chacha.com/question/what-month-has-the-highest-death-rate

Theo Goodwin

‘“It’s very difficult to make predictions, but given what we know now—absent any form of adaptation or mitigation—our study shows that climate change will exacerbate the health impact of heat waves across a range of plausible future scenarios,” added Peng.’
Oh, look, there is a misprint in the above. It should read “It’s very difficult to make predictions without physical hypotheses, in fact it is impossible and we have no physical hypotheses, but that won’t stop us…” /sarc
Someday humankind will evolve to the point that people who are extrapolating from old graphs or interpreting model runs will understand that they are not making predictions. If you can predict an event then you can use the very same hypotheses to explain the event. If you cannot explain the event then you cannot predict it.
Surely, everyone is aware that a false prediction means that at least one of the hypotheses used to make the prediction is false. Why can peop0le not learn that there is nothing in an old graph or a model run that can be said to be false. Useless or dead, yes, but not false.

25 of the 50 all-time record high temperatures set for each US State happened in the 1930s. None were set in the 2000s. These facts are devastating to the agw argument.

Douglas DC

We are about 2-4 weeks behind in our spring here in NE Oregon, and when it gets above 50F shorts and T-shirts come out. I cannot believe this hysteria…

Cassandra King

Shameless scaremongering? Follow the money.
Rent seeking pseudo science? Follow the money.
Making up conclusions based solely on speculative models? Follow the money.
This is modern science in action today, yet it is not new by any means. It is Lysenko science reborn, the perversion of science to serve a political narrative with a belief based construction of a wholly dishonest series of conclusions. In simple terms telling lies, big whoppers, but the fact they are lies matters not to the authors, the ends justify the means. The final few words, bringing heart break and misery through the years. Those means immediately destroying any aims and nullifying any wished for good, still they do not learn. The means when not honest will never ever bring about anything other than misery, a concrete law never broken yet. The road to hell paved with good intentions. Lie to the public to persuade them to change as a society, the very minute the first lie was told the cause was lost, those involved cannot even realise that simplest of truths.

Question for the gallery: during what season(s) do the record highs mostly occur?

Stephen Brown

Codswallop, balderdash, bilge, bunkum, drivel, gibberish, hogwash, hooey, poppycock, rot, stuff and nonsense, tommyrot, balderdash, baloney, bilge, claptrap, eyewash, flimflam, tripe and twaddle. That just about sums up my opinion of this analysis.

Jay says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:17 am
“For the analysis, Peng and his colleagues developed three climate change scenarios for 2081 to 2100. The scenarios were based on estimates from seven global climate change models ”
What about a scenario where temperatures slowly rise and people slowly adapt to warmer climates?
What about scenarios where the temperature gets colder, and people die from exposure, a statistically more likely one?

What about a model based on reality instead of other models?

Dave Wendt

Ryan Maue says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:55 am
Question for the gallery: during what season(s) do the record highs mostly occur?
Just a guess, but my experience suggests that would be Winter.

Robertvdl

So that’s why older people move to Florida so that they live less years.
Poverty kills people . No heating No air conditioning bad nutrition etc . But it’s a way to get less poor people.

“Question for the gallery: during what season(s) do the record highs mostly occur?”
I’ll guess winter

What is John Hopkins known for? Medicine. And while Medicine does get some dough, the major trough is climate science. So link medicine to it and you can feed in the trough with others.
I just hope there is more integrity and accuracy put into their medical research for the real ills of man. otherwise, their sheepskin will be worth more on the sheep than a wall.

Taphonomic

Somehow people manage to survive temperatures greater than 115 F in Las Vegas but drop like flies when it gets over 100 F in Chicago.
But then as the study states: “No universally accepted definition of a heat wave is currently available”

DD More

From Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration
http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:Sraat9B65XQJ:www.econ.berkeley.edu/~moretti/weather_mortality+Chicago+excess+deaths+per+year+cold+weather&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgRD0xjKENQOkbLPnbcj_3gnUgL53HkkyQojdfZKXlMvSe4IKvHuQT1nXC4sQysLJ-Pal5uri6T7JUjE8SOm51LLjzk4AwEPCyuYL1SrFYlK___3-GGvBAFA_yvnTlH_FfDtVpS&sig=AHIEtbQ6LOTPlDprfqH3Xwfy9d_gUktLlQ
Our results point out to widely different impacts of cold and hot temperature on
mortality. Consistent with accounts in the media, we find that hot temperature shocks are indeed associated with a large and immediate spike in mortality in the days of the heat wave. As expected, this effect is particularly large for elderly individuals. Remarkably, however, almost all of this excess mortality is explained by near-term displacement. In the weeks that follow a heat wave, we find a marked decline in mortality hazard.
In contrast, we find that the cold temperature days have a significant and long-
lasting impact on mortality rates. Cold waves are associated with an immediate spike in mortality in the days of the cold wave, but there is no offsetting decline in the weeks that follow. The cumulative effect of 1 day of extreme cold temperature during a 30-day window is an increase in daily mortality by as much as 10%.
The aggregate magnitude of the impact of extreme cold on mortality in the US is large. We estimate that the number of annual deaths attributable to extreme cold
temperature in the white population is 14,380, or almost 360 deaths per cold day.
We calculate that each year 4,600 deaths are delayed by the changing exposure to
cold temperature due to mobility. As a consequence, the average individual experiences an increase in longevity of 0.008-0.015 years per calendar year as a result of the lower exposure to cold weather. We compare this figure to the increase in longevity experienced in the United States over the past thirty years. Our estimates indicate that 3%-7% of the gains in longevity experienced by the US population over the past three decades are due to the secular movement toward warmer states in the West and the South, away from the colder states in the North. This evidence on mobility-induced changes to cold weather exposure identifies an important but previously overlooked explanation for increased longevity in the United States.

So why has moving to warm weather increased longevity more than dying in the heat?

Latitude

Ryan Maue says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:55 am
Question for the gallery: during what season(s) do the record highs mostly occur?
===================================================
In the US summer….
…specifically July

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

In the future, the researchers calculated that excess mortality attributable to heat waves to range from 166 to 2,217 per year.
The rolling blackouts due to insufficient electricity coupled with high prices dissuading the poor from using it at all will be quite devastating. Air conditioning can be quite a life saver when available. People will talk about “the good old days” when it was reliable as well.

Gary Swift

I have a couple of things I noticed about this one. First I congratulate them for making the full paper available for free. That’s not common these days.
However, why do they think they can fit a normal distribution to the deaths caused by intense heat events? The historical data does not fit any normal distribution. Assuming that the future data will seems faulty.
Next, why choose Chicago? I suspect the 1995 event in Chicago skews the data on the high side, creating more alarming results when you project that out.
Next, the number 2200 deaths for Chicago alone seems a bit out of touch with reality when the CDC says the current average for the entire USA is around 700/year.
And last but not least, the Union of Concerned Scientists (who are strongly pro-AGW) have the following to say:
“Increased heat waves due to climate change would cause more heat-related illness and death. It is still unclear whether the excess mortality will be offset by a decrease in deaths due to extreme cold (McMichael, 1996).”
That’s from the following source:
http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/impacts/early-warning-signs-of-global-6.html

The iceman cometh

The insurance data are unequivocal – the death rate is higher in winter. Using that data I estimate that 1 deg C will increase the life expectancy of the average citizen of the developed world by about 6.3 months. The effect gets less as it gets warmer, but is still positive at 6 deg C above present.

Resourceguy

I’m really getting sick at seeing biased science dragged out like this. It looks like a fad gone terribly out of control. Adding this decline of science accountability to unsustainable fiscal leadership at major states and DC and you really do have a catastrophe wrecking the country.

Crispin in Waterloo

The Engineer says:
“I might be mistaken, but I was under the impression that “global warming” was mainly caused by higher night temperatures – in other words the chart should show the smallest minimums, not the largest.”
You are quite right, that is the claim. The chart of records shows that during the ‘recent rise’ in global temperature the number of ‘records’ is unremarkable. Given the UHI issues and how they are handled, the speculative statements made in the article are, to say the least, exaggerated.
Quel surprise.

Frank K.

“An analysis led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health calculated that the city of Chicago could experience between 166 and 2,217 excess deaths per year attributable to heat waves using three different climate change scenarios for the final decades of the 21st century. ”
So, in a city like Chicago, what are the annual deaths due to:
* homicides
* auto accidents
* accidents at home
* climate change
???
(And what do the answers to the above say about the worth of this study?)

Hoser

Government policy is creating deliberately higher energy prices to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels in order to reduce the chance of global warming. It is only a symbolic effort, since no significant impact will occur. They can only HOPE the policy will CHANGE the amount of global warming in the future.
On the other hand, if our weather, operating in cycles returns to cooler winters. Now our policy works only to make heating in winter far more difficult. As others have pointed out, winter cold deaths exceed summer heat deaths. Warmer is better in that regard. The Administration HOPE we won’t connect the dots regarding the effect of their CHANGE in policy.
I don’t have to HOPE there will be CHANGE in 2012. No OBL bounce for BHO. No actual economic recovery happened. Inflation rising. Unemployment remains high despite official statistical lies. The people will make sure real change occurs in Washington. No doubt.

Two guesses for winter record highs, and one for July. Someone should try and figure this out…

JPeden

Douglas DC says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:51 am
“We are about 2-4 weeks behind in our spring here in NE Oregon, and when it gets above 50F shorts and T-shirts come out.”
I got mine out about 6 weeks ago so I wouldn’t miss Summer. Spring’s coming so “early” around here, it looks almost exactly like Winter!

CRS, Dr.P.H.

*ahem* As the resident Public Health expert on WUWT, I need to point out that, in Chicago, a driving force for heat-related mortality is the increase in violent crime we experience as our summertime temperatures increase.
Older folks who are most vulnerable to higher temps and who tend to lack air conditioning are basically prisoners of their own houses due to all the gunplay, and sadly, they often expire in that environment. It’s terribly sad to watch.

Table 3 illustrates that a one-
degree increase in temperature variation increases the amplitude of violent
crime 4.9%.16

http://www.irss.unc.edu/odum/content/pdf/Bollen%20Hipp%20Bauer%20Curran%20Bollen%202004%20SocForces.pdf.

Dave Wendt

The facts are obvious. If we do not take immediate steps to drastically reduce fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions 9-10 billion or more people will die by 2100. Of course, if we do absolutely nothing about CO2 the number of deaths will be virtually indistinguishable. In fact, even the most ardent proponents of the CAGW scam admit that, even with full and immediate implementation of all of their non solution solutions, any changes in the future climate will be all but unmeasurable. And since the diversion of our finite resources to unproductive paths and the intended and unintended consequences which are already occurring as a result have been overwhelmingly negative for human prospects, it would be entirely reasonable to assume that pursuing the current program of carbon demonization for another 90 years can only lead to massively more human mortality. Unfortunately, if you peruse the statements made by the biggest backers of CAGW alarmism, it’s also obvious that that result is not a bug, but a feature of their proposals.

James Sexton

Ryan Maue says:
May 3, 2011 at 11:20 am
Two guesses for winter record highs, and one for July. Someone should try and figure this out…
================================
lol, because you were too vague, Ryan.
If you were asking what season is daily record highs being broke, then winter could be a correct answer, in that if the record high for Dec 15th was 60F for a particular place, then if it were 61F last year, a record high in the winter would be logged.
But if you’re asking about when the record highs for a yearly high typically occurs, then obviously the answer in the Northern Hemisphere would be July/August. or Summer.

Hal

Beware of statisticians who predict death rates based on marginal and crappy data.

Ken Harvey

Teach those 2200 people in Chicago to take some salt, plenty, when it gets really uncomfortably hot and not one of them will get heat stroke. Ask any army veteran who ever served in a really hot theatre. Sadly I am really not allowed to tell them that as the current dictum is that salt is really bad for you. Nutrition science is not too different to climate science.

Ian W

DD More says:
May 3, 2011 at 10:33 am
From Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration

What you have demonstrated is the weakness of the Johns Hopkins research and the ignorance of those who took part in the peer review. Or perhaps the review was not too detailed as the result was what the ‘peers’ wanted to see?
Neither case makes one trust Johns Hopkins as the kind of establishment one would want to carry out medical research.

Latitude

Ryan, this one says summer and July for the US:
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0001416.html
and so does this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._state_temperature_extremes

JamesS

@Ryan Maue

Two guesses for winter record highs, and one for July. Someone should try and figure this out…

You could state the question more clearly. “Record highs” as in “all-time highs”? As in “record highs for a day”? Record highs for a day anywhere in the world?
In the continental US, all of the all-time highs occurred in summer. Hawaii’s occurred in spring. Obviously, a “record high for a day” is going to occur in the season in which the day falls — it’d be hard to have a record high for January 10th occur in the summer (although it would happen that way in Australia).

DesertYote

#
The Engineer says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:26 am
I might be mistaken, but I was under the impression that “global warming” was mainly caused by higher night temperatures – in other words the chart should show the smallest minimums, not the largest.
###
No no no, You got it all wrong. Pay more attention to the propagan, I mean science please. With CAGW we get a greater number of extreme events, or so the models say.

Gary Swift

Ryan Maue says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:55 am
Question for the gallery: during what season(s) do the record highs mostly occur
Shouldn’t they, statistically speaking, be distributed evenly throughout the year? Of course an increase in heat island effect might make winter daily record highs favorably biased, since the heat island effect should be more profound in the winter.

Alexander K

This piece of so-called science could not have happened before the general use of PCs with gigabytes of memory and the programmed facility for very easy cutting and pasting, thus enabling the cooking up of new and scary climate-related ‘problems’ timed to happen some time in the future (long after our research group is around). Take a boiler-plate research grant proposal, paste in a suitably frightening title, pour in a mix of familiar models (that we know are non-predictive but the more the merrier), add a range of scenarios that sound vaguely possible, mix well and voila! A whole new scare story that did not involve any awkward testable hypotheses, gathering data of any kind or anything remotely connected with the scientific method.
The proliferation of such cut-and-paste pseudo science is absolutely outrageous and bordering on the outreight criminal..

Theo Goodwin

Douglas DC says:
May 3, 2011 at 9:51 am
“We are about 2-4 weeks behind in our spring here in NE Oregon, and when it gets above 50F shorts and T-shirts come out. I cannot believe this hysteria…”
A quick look at classic.wunderground.com reveals that the midwest has been well below normal all Spring. Today, St. Louis is running in the sixties when it normally is in the eighties.