Garbage Climate Science: Modeling  ≠ Data when it comes to 2003 Paris heat wave deaths

You have to wonder about the logic behind such “science”. Instead of looking at actual data, such as actual causes on death certificates, researchers instead run a distributed model processing project similar to SETI@Home to determine that  “506 out of 735 summer deaths recorded in the French capital were due to a heatwave made worse by man-made climate change.”.

But, that data aside, there was a strong cultural component to the excess deaths that climate models don’t capture. While not normally a fan of Wikipedia, this description of events makes far more sense than climate modeling:

In France, 14,802 heat-related deaths (mostly among the elderly) occurred during the heat wave, according to the French National Institute of Health.[4][5] France does not commonly have very hot summers, particularly in the northern areas,[6] but seven days with temperatures of more than 40 °C (104 °F) were recorded in Auxerre, Yonne during July and August 2003. Because of the usually relatively mild summers, most people did not know how to react to very high temperatures (for instance, with respect to rehydration), and most single-family homes and residential facilities built in the last 50 years were not equipped with air conditioning. Furthermore, while contingency plans were made for a variety of natural and man-made catastrophes, high temperatures had rarely been considered a major hazard.

The catastrophe occurred in August, a month in which many people, including government ministers and physicians, are on holiday. Many bodies were not claimed for many weeks because relatives were on holiday. A refrigerated warehouse outside Paris was used by undertakers as they did not have enough space in their own facilities. On 3 September 2003, 57 bodies were still left unclaimed in the Paris area, and were buried.

The high number of deaths can be explained by the conjunction of seemingly unrelated events. Most nights in France are cool, even in summer. As a consequence, houses (usually of stone, concrete, or brick construction) do not warm too much during the daytime and radiate minimal heat at night, and air conditioning is usually unnecessary. During the heat wave, temperatures remained at record highs even at night, preventing the usual cooling cycle. Elderly persons living by themselves had never faced such extreme heat before and did not know how to react or were too mentally or physically impaired by the heat to make the necessary adaptations themselves. Elderly persons with family support or those residing in nursing homes were more likely to have others who could make the adjustments for them. This led to statistically improbable survival rates with the weakest group having fewer deaths than more physically fit persons; most of the heat victims came from the group of elderly persons not requiring constant medical care, and/or those living alone, without frequent contact with immediate family.

That shortcomings of the nation’s health system could allow such a death toll is a matter of controversy in France. The administration of President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin laid the blame on families who had left their elderly behind without caring for them, the 35-hour workweek, which affected the amount of time doctors could work and family practitioners vacationing in August. Many companies traditionally closed in August, so people had no choice about when to vacation. Family doctors were still in the habit of vacationing at the same time. It is not clear that more physicians would have helped, as the main limitation was not the health system, but locating old people needing assistance.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_European_heat_wave

Then there’s the fact that the heatwave itself was caused by a blocking high pressure system, as Eduardo Ferreyra explained in September 2003:

In 1976, as in 2003, the story in eastern Europe was different. The blocking anticyclone situated over Europe had kept England, France and neighbouring regions dry and hot. But the low pressure systems, following the undulating path of the Jet Stream, had to go somewhere else with their load of humidity gathered during their journey through the Atlantic Ocean. Most of them chose the northern edge of the blocking anticyclone – the portion of the Jet Stream driven to the north – and fell afterwards over the Baltic region around Leningrad (St. Petersburg) and Moscow, pouring heavy rains there and causing flooding – in the exact same way they did this summer of 2003. History repeats itself after 27 years, without global warming having anything to do with it. The Jet Stream is to blame – or perhaps God.

Source: http://www.john-daly.com/guests/jet.htm

2003-Europe-heatwave-anomaly

Now, after reading those facts, here is this tabloid level climate science paper which is already generating headlines around the world:


‘100s of deaths in 2 cities in 2003 heatwave due to man-made climate change’

Scientists have specified how many deaths can be attributed to man-made climate change during an extreme heatwave.

Scientists have specified how many deaths can be attributed to man-made climate change during an extreme heatwave in two European cities in 2003. They calculate that in Paris, the hottest city in Europe during the heatwave in summer 2003, 506 out of 735 summer deaths recorded in the French capital were due to a heatwave made worse by man-made climate change. The impact of climate change was less severe in London, with an additional 64 deaths out of a total of 315 heat-related deaths, says the paper published in the scientific journal,Environmental Research Letters. The study, led by the University of Oxford, suggests that such research gives policymakers better information about the damaging effects of heatwaves to help them respond to the≠ future challenges of climate change

The findings were generated by putting the results of climate model simulations of the 2003 heatwave into a health impact assessment of death rates. Using computer time donated by thousands of volunteers from the weather@home project, the researchers ran many thousands of high-resolution regional climate model simulations. They found that human-induced climate change increased the risk of heat-related deaths in central Paris by around 70% and by 20% in London.

The paper says the mortality rate attributed to man-made climate change in both these cities is notably high, but they are just two of a large number of cities that were affected by the heatwave that year. It suggests that the resulting total number of deaths across Europe due to climate change is likely to be substantially higher.

The paper looks at the three months June to August. It warns that no heatwave on record has ever had such a widespread effect on human health, as experienced during those months of 2003. Previous studies have attributed changes in heatwave frequency and severity to human-caused climate change, or demonstrated the effect of extreme heat on human mortality. This paper is the first to attribute the number of premature deaths to climate change during extreme heat waves.

Lead author Dr Daniel Mitchell, from the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, comments: ‘It is often difficult to understand the implications of a planet that is one degree warmer than preindustrial levels in the global average, but we are now at the stage where we can identify the cost to our health of man-made 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.’

Co-author Dr Chris Huntingford, of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, says: ‘Traditionally, climate research has linked increasing levels of greenhouses gases simply to trends in weather, such as generally higher day-to-day temperatures. However, linking the impact of burning of fossil fuels right through to health implications enables much better planning to prepare for any further climatic changes.’

By starkly showing we can measure the toll in human lives that climate change is already taking through worsening extreme heat, this study shines a spotlight on our responsibilities as a society for limiting further damage,’ adds co-author Dr Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, USA.

The paper concludes that with climate change projected to increase the frequency and severity of future heatwaves, these results highlight an emerging trend. It suggests that further research should focus on possible changes in future death rates, taking into account population and demographic changes.

###

 

 

The paper:

‘Attributing human mortality during extreme heatwaves to anthropogenic climate change’, is by Daniel Mitchell, Clare Heaviside, Sotiris Vardoulakis, Chris Huntingford, Giacomo Masato, Benoit Guillod, Peter Frumhoff, Andy Bowery, David Wallom, and Myles Allen.

Environmental Research Letters. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074006

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/11/7/074006

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81 thoughts on “Garbage Climate Science: Modeling  ≠ Data when it comes to 2003 Paris heat wave deaths

    • Ten authors listed..
      Probably nine of them are needed to screw in the light bulb.
      Once in my life, I actually co-authored a paper; a technical paper that is. If it was ever published it would only have been in the local proceedings of the Portland (OR) chapter of the IEEE. I actually presented the paper at the local meeting of that chapter. I’m thinking that might have occurred at Reed College, but frankly I don’t remember.
      There was one other thing I don’t remember, but I’ve completely forgotten what that was.
      Also more strictly speaking, I was the sole co-author of the paper, having written and figured out the whole thing myself. My co-author and I chatted about it. He also is one of the two smartest engineers, I have ever met in my life (an analog circuit designer).
      I still have a couple of copies of the written paper.
      “A New look at the effect of Cathode Lead Inductance in Vacuum Tube Amplifiers.”
      I doubt you can find it on the web anywhere. It completely blew to smithereens all of the vast text book literature on the effect of cathode lead inductance in amplifiers, also applies to transistor amplifiers whether MOS or bipolar. Too bad, it was a truly remarkable discovery. Not quite as big as Einstein waves, but still earth shaking.
      For the uncognito, WW-II era radar sets employed high gain wide bandwidth multistage IF band pass amplifiers. The 6AK5 pentode figured prominently in those designs. (NO I never designed one). The problem arises that the input AC current flowing in the small grid to cathode (base to emitter / gate to source) capacitance, ends up also flowing in the cathode (emitter / source) lead inductance; through which also flows the output current from plate / collector / drain, and those two currents are 90 degrees phase shifted from each other.
      This results in an apparent input loading conductance, that will de-Q the input tuned circuit, and affect the high frequency gain attainable. So the 6AK5 and similar application devices brought out two separate cathode leads.
      The dumb way to make use of those was to short them together, to halve the lead inductance.
      The input conductance obtained from these classical papers and texts was proportional to the square of the frequency, and also the apparent input capacitance was also a function of frequency. Well resistances and conductances are not supposed to be frequency dependent, so whatever was loading the input circuit, it certainly wasn’t a real conductance (or parallel resistance if you like).
      Moreover, in broadband circuit designs, such as from DC to gamma rays, it is not nice to have I/f^2 circuit components in the equivalent circuit model.
      I asked a very simple question. What the hell is the apparent input IMPEDANCE, instead of the admittance.
      Turns out the answer is surprisingly simple.
      The apparent input circuit is a simple series combination of three CONSTANT circuit elements.
      One is the grid to cathode capacitance (Cgk) and one is the cathode lead inductance (Lk).
      The big surprise is the third fixed constant circuit element.
      It is small fixed series resistance with a value (Lk / Cgk). gm, where gm is the transconductance of the vacuum tube (or transistor or FET).
      The appearance of that series resistance in the input circuit, limits the peak current you can drive through the input circuit so it limits how fast you can charge the Cgk, thus restricting the bandwidth.
      And the remarkable fact (and too late to implement) is that in a radar IF amplifier, the effect is TOTALLY removable.
      Instead of paralleling those two cathode leads, to half the inductance, you make use of them to turn the tube into a true four terminal network, with the input signal applied between the grid, and the input cathode lead, and the output circuit obtained from the plate, and the other output cathode lead, thus completely isolating those two 90 degree phase shifted currents from each other.
      Also works wonders with transistors even though the have much lower emitter lead inductance. But they have huge gm values compared to valves.
      I guess all of this just to point out you should never allow your name to be included in any list of ten supposed authors of any science paper.
      Probably one guy wrote it, while the others kept fetching him hot coffee to keep him awake. (lady authors too).
      So nyet on the Paris heat wave deaths. Probably half of them were actually caused by cigarette chain smoking (same in Geneva).
      G

      • 1982 (?) IEEE Reliability Physics Symposium Proceedings. The first demonstration that you could control voltage sensitive neumatic liquid crystals on a 5v cmos transister, was even going to make a display out of it for my presentation, but ran out of time.
        This is the technology of lcd tvs, and in fact I was asked for a preprint ahead of time by a guy who was going to make lcd displays on amorphous silicon thin film transistors.

  1. Peer review is very broken. How on earth does junk like this get published.. on yes I forgot silly me

    • It may be true that many of the deaths were caused by man, but not with climate change. It is known that many, especially the elderly are being put on low salt diets these days. That sets them up for heat related.injury/death.

      • If ‘global warming’ is global how can it cause 5 times MORE deaths in Paris than it does in nearby London?
        Sounds like fairly good proof that is it NOT global warming that caused either.

  2. Wasn’t the heat wave of 2003 supposed to be repeated more and more frequently in subsequent years as global warming accelerated? 2003 seems a long time ago now, and since then the UK has had the coldest December since records began.
    France is said to be the country which suffered most under the ‘European heatwave’. However, if we look at the mortality statistics for France during 2003 we see nothing exceptional.
    Deaths per 1000 of population in France
    2001 : 9.14
    2002 : 9.09
    2003 : 9.04
    2004 : 9.06
    2005 : 9.08
    https://s32.postimg.org/siebhaso5/France_Death_rate.png
    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/g.aspx?c=fr&v=26

    • MikeB,
      What the researchers “forget” to mention is that death rates increase during a heatwave, but are lower in the months after the heat wave. That points to persons with already weak health which would decease only a few weeks to a few months later…
      Not so for cold waves: not only is the effect 10 times more extra mortality during a cold spell than during a hot spell, but that is not compensated by a lower mortality after a cold spell…
      See:
      http://www.bmj.com/content/321/7262/670.full

      • The heat wave simply killed off the weak and old who were going to die in the forthcoming winter anyway.
        Annual statistics turned out just the same

        • “The heat wave simply killed off the weak and old who were going to die in the forthcoming winter anyway.”
          That is NOT what was reported: on the contrary, it was said that they were additional death.

      • Simple-touriste,
        From the study of Keatinge:
        Mortality often falls below baseline for several days after the end of a heat wave, and this has been interpreted as indicating that some of the people dying during the heat wave were already close to death.
        That the overall death rate doesn’t change between heat-wave years and non-heat-wave years is another indication that heat stress mainly hits people who are already severely weakened, while cold spells hits even the fittest by freezing, accidents and typical winter diseases like the flu…

      • Note the statement from the article from the Wikipedia, part.
        “This led to statistically improbable survival rates with the weakest group having fewer deaths than more physically fit persons; most of the heat victims came from the group of elderly persons not requiring constant medical care, and/or those living alone, without frequent contact with immediate family.”
        Also the fact that families were on vacation ans many seniors were left unattended This was a fluke a one time event. People are more prepared if it happens. At least should be.
        I live in the American southwest, people die all the time in the heat out of ignorance. The people lost in this heat wave were not on death’s door. They were independent enough to be left alone and most likely would have lasted a few more winters. They just had no experience with that type of heat.
        michael

    • If the “death rate” stats were different the warmists would tout them. As little as it actually means 2003 has a lower calculated rate than the 3 years before and after. Yep, that is “cherry picking” but it is also a FACT. Skeptics could present the public with the numbers on the seven years and imply (or just boldly lie) that heat saves lives. Well, it likely does but differently.

      • First if all, “saving lives” is a misnomer. I know we don’t actually believe it but the implication behind the phrase is that we have “prevented” a death as if that person were not going to die ever!
        There is enough evidence from human history (sorry we didn’t have the computer models during the Roman Warm Period to “prove” it) that warm weather is better for humanity in general than cold weather.
        You don’t need to cherry-pick statistics to make the argument; you just need to correlate average temperatures with deaths. Adjusting for wars and epidemics obviously.
        On this particular example I prefer Ferreyra’s interpretation. Since 1976 (1975 perhaps) is supposedly when all this catastrophic warming began, to see the weather pattern of that summer replicated almost identically 27 years later is just one more nail in the coffin of that particular scare story. Perhaps one day the climate activists will understand that!

    • That’s because the deaths were simply “accelerated”. After the spike in the hot weather, there was a drop below normal in deaths in the months afterwards.
      In other words, those who died essentially died a few weeks earlier than they “should”.

      • As per Mosher’s comment: No, the french study did not find a lowered death rate later. At least statistically. Meaning the heat wave did not ‘harvest’ the weak early. However, if one looks at the overall deaths per year before and after in France. +- 3 years. But a very interestly plummet occurs in 2007 so perhaps better statistics may need to be done to understand that one.

  3. All societies adapt their local behaviours, infrastructure and actions to meet locally “normal” conditions.
    Any extremes when compared to those norms will inevitably have an impact on mortality and injuries – cold, heat, rain, air pollution etc. It is the inability to adapt that causes the problem, not the absolute value of the extreme event. Societies function quite adequately where the extremes are normal – eg: Canada (-40C) Saudi Arabia (+50C)
    To attribute additional deaths to a heatwave and by association to climate change is intellectually questionable. To do so without identifying the impact on other extremes renders the analysis one sided and largely worthless.

    • To attribute additional deaths to a heatwave and by association to climate change is intellectually dishonest.
      FITFY

    • Approximately 20 years ago I happened to be in Nogales, Mexico for a day at the open air market in late December. I picked up an English newspaper on the U.S. side of the border. It had several articles regarding about 30 deaths related to a week long cold snap with temps around the freezing mark. Being from Canada, I was shocked that such temperatures could kill. They just aren’t prepared for those conditions. Many more people die from cold than heat. Global warming saves lives!

  4. Hold on. Won’t global warming decrease the number of deaths in the winter? No? Apparently not. Apparently human made climate change makes it colder as well. Does it also increase the amount of milder weather?

      • Bazzer,
        Spot on!
        Incidentally, in 2016, while France hosts the footy tournament, 49% of the French were in a minority.
        We were just talking about this on the train a couple of nights ago. 1976, 1991 and 1992, and 2003 were all remembered as ‘hot’ summers, with 2011 and 2012 dry too – until the drought broke.
        “We are in drought” and the rest of the photos of London under a Noachian deluge.
        http://randomlylondon.com/is-there-any-doubt-we-are-in-drought/
        1976 was the longest ‘hot’ summer I remember. But I’m not sure that fits the wealth redistributors’ narrative.
        Auto – in a cool-ish damp London

  5. The gold standard study of disaster data concludes:
    “The trends in normalized disaster impacts show large differences between regions and weather event categories. Despite these variations, our overall conclusion is that the increasing exposure of people and economic assets is the major cause of increasing trends in disaster impacts. This holds for long-term trends in economic losses as well as the number of people affected.”
    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/data-vs-models-3-disasters/

  6. So now the French government or the EU perhaps will mandate A/C in every home. If they don’t it will be obvious they do not take the threat seriously.

    • No, A/C takes fossil fuel to run. You cannot install something that only makes things worse. Isn’t that the point? We are simply frying ourselves and we have to stop using A/C to save ourselves. (It’s not supposed to make sense—if it did, it would be real science, unlike climate alarmism.)

  7. “Man-Made Climate Change Model Kills Hundreds” might be appropriate as a title too.

  8. Even if the globe goes in to a cooling period, there will still be events like this as there was in 1976. Unfortunately, these numbnuts are not even wrong.

  9. “Man-Made Global Warming Model Kills Hundreds” seems like a good working title.
    If dup, pass-through signon killed my first attempt at this post, I think.

  10. 1) Design a climate model that reacts to CO2 in an inane manner
    2) Use input: present C02 levels and what levels reflects ‘assumed existed without man’
    3) Use the output as the input for an assessment model to determine the expected number of deaths.
    4) Tune the assessment model until the 2003 heat wave matches the deaths that occurred.
    5) Subtract the ‘deaths found’ without the extra C02 from the 2003 heatwave deaths
    Viola a guarantied exorbitant number that proves
    It is worse than we thought.
    But more importantly they now can claim to have ‘certified’ climate change deaths.

    • Other memorable quotes:
      « Le citoyen est un piéton de la République. » = “The citizen is a pedestrian of the Republic.”
      « Il faut avoir conscience de la profondeur de la question du sens. » = “We must be aware of the depth of the issue of meaning.”
      « Le tour de taille n’est pas un handicap au Sénat. » = “Waist circumference is not a handicap in the Senate.”
      « Il est curieux de constater en France que les veuves vivent plus longtemps que leurs maris. » = “It is remarkable that in France, widows outlive their husbands.”

      • simple-touriste:

        « Il est curieux de constater en France que les veuves vivent plus longtemps que leurs maris. » = “It is remarkable that in France, widows outlive their husbands.”

        Made my day! I may print that one up and put it on the refrigerator. I laugh every time I read it.
        Thank you!

      • My favourite such quote comes from that source of all knowledge “Graffiti”
        Only small women live longer……That’s why you only have LITTLE OLD LADIES.
        James Bull

  11. Ubiquitous computer usage is making smart people smarter, effective and efficient and stupid people much, much stupider, incompetent and dangerous (yet they are even more convinced of their superior competence). This is not going to end well…

  12. A/C in this part of the world might be an advantage for a few weeks each year but most of the time it would be idle. I can just see a Eurocrat trying to make it compulsory though… and raking-in the profits, because he owns the HVAC firm that, surprise surprise, is the only one to have the necessary certifications to comply with the new Directive.
    That is the problem with the EU. It’s as bent as it gets.. and then some.
    It’s no surprise that a large part of the climate change and renewable energy legislation which affects us has come out of the EU. All vested commercial interests. Or, should that that be Vestased commercial interests?

    • HFC-134a, which was used in car A/C systems, has been forbidden by Europe (2006/40/CE), because climate. Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) doesn’t want to use HFO-1234yf, because explosions and toxicity. Europe says HFC-134a is verboten but Germany says it isn’t.
      In the end, they want every car to use: CO2!

  13. The most noteworthy aspect of the 2003 heatwave was how limited it was geographically and how significantly below average temperatures were in the rest of Europe. There is something compulsively dishonest in seeking to attribute a man made global warming influence on this event accordingly. And hypocritical given the rabbbiting of the “weather is not climate” mantra by the very same people at anyone who draws attention to localised extreme cold events in winter

  14. Looking at the average annual deaths per thousand it appears that a similar number of people died that year but maybe more died during the heatwave. So essentially those who were destined to die anyway died. As the same applies to cold snaps where the old succumb more easily it would seem that the cause is extreme weather. As extreme weather has not changed on average then there is no link to climate change. Even if that link could be proven they would still have to prove a link to CO2 and even if that link were proven they would still have to prove a link to the man made tiny percentage of CO2. There can be no other conclusion here than that they decided on a result and tried to fiddle stats to suit. It is not bad science, it is corrupt science.
    Why am I not surprised to see Myles Allen’s name in the list of authors? Obviously not saying he is corrupt, but why am I not surprised?

  15. “History repeats itself after 27 years, without global warming having anything to do with it. The Jet Stream is to blame – or perhaps God.”
    Plural, gods, 2003, 1976, 1948/49 and 1934 all had the same order of heliocentric Jovian configuration, influencing levels of indirect solar forcings.

    • The series runs: 27y + 15y + 27y = 69y, with the most acute events being every 69y (recent AMO frequency), and in the longer term: 69y + 69y + 69y + 69y +42y = 318y (317.735), which is the major and most regular synod of the inner three gas giants.

  16. Any study results that are based in any way on climate models have no credibility for me. Simply comparing their output to observation totally destroys them. They were written to output a politically acceptable result and that is exactly what they do.

  17. We will know that France has started to take the challenge of Global Warming seriously, when they start to serve ice in the water glasses on the table in the restaurants.

  18. i find it odd that they make so much about that heat wave of 2003. Actually 2003 was a single (but very high) spike. In belgium the years 1976 and 1947 were much worse then 2003 in length, drought and number of heat waves.
    even more the record heat was not beaten it still stands for Belgium… it just was 0.2C “colder” in 2003.
    now withthe current meme i still wonder what they would have made of those heat waves if they ever occur now.

  19. And there’s a thing called “harvesting”, sick or old people that are due to die anyway will die earlier during a heatwave, resulting in lower death rates in the days/weeks after the heat wave.

      • How is that possible? Does GW cause people to die twice, or does it cause others to die in their place to keep the numbers up?

  20. Manmade CO2 warming-based models “found” deaths attributed to manmade CO2 warming.
    Color me gobsmacked.
    The stupid, it burns. The real killer is a combination of being poor, elderly, and neglected. Raising energy costs contributes to factor #1, so it would appear that Warmists want even further deaths, which they can then conveniently blame on “climate change”.

  21. Pretty hot here today – 27c° – surely a record for early July. I best go check on the neighbours.

    • 31° in the SW already seen 34°C in april and 33 °C this month. We see one day of 40°C most yrs but not in the last two. Springs have been cold and wet for about 5yrs.

  22. ” Instead of looking at actual data, such as actual causes on death certificates,”
    The vast majority of deaths during a heat wave are not from things like heat stroke, very few in fact. A typical scenario would be an isolated elderly person ( the vast majority are elderly ) who is sitting in front of a fan, not drinking water, getting dehydrated, and the dying from heart failure. heat waves essentially “harvest people” earlier. In studying heat related deaths you look at the death rate per thousand before the heat wave and then during the heat wave. So for example, death from falling down will go up. dehydration … dizzy.. stand up.. fall down. And whats really interesting is that the death rates for other causes will go down.
    The empirical relationship between heat waves and heat RELATED deaths is different for every city.
    Cities that use heat wave warning systems already know this.
    Some back ground reading
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9662104
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9222780
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9074886
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10987770
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11772788
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC192832/#ref5

  23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1950160/
    Interestingly in France they found no harvesting effect and more deaths directly attributable to heat, as opposed to chicago 95
    From August 1st to 20th, 2003, 15000 excess deaths were observed. From 35 years age, the excess mortality was marked and increased with age. It was 15% higher in women than in men of comparable age as of age 45 years. Excess mortality at home and in retirement institutions was greater than that in hospitals. The mortality of widowed, single and divorced subjects was greater than that of married people. Deaths directly related to heat, heatstroke, hyperthermia and dehydration increased massively. Cardiovascular diseases, ill-defined morbid disorders, respiratory diseases and nervous system diseases also markedly contributed to the excess mortality. The geographic variations in mortality showed a clear age-dependent relationship with the number of very hot days. No harvesting effect was observed.
    The observations made from August 1st to November 30th, 2003 in mainland France, were compared to the similar observations for the period 2000–2002, taken as the reference period. The mortality data were derived from the merged data bases of Inserm and INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies), thus ensuring that the data were complete.
    A prior descriptive analysis of the daily mortality-rate process over the reference period has shown that, when the seasonal effect and linear annual trend were controlled, the residuals were distributed as a first-order autoregressive process with extra-Poisson variability. Two methods were then used to estimate the expected number of deaths and the expected variance of daily death counts in 2003. Method A combined modelling of the time course of monthly mortality rates, by age and gender, from 2000 to 2002, extrapolated to 2003, with estimations of the populations by year, age and gender, from 2000 to 2003. The model adopted was a log-linear Poisson model incorporating a linear annual trend and a specific term for each month of the year. Method B consisted in estimating the mean mortality rates by age, gender and month, from 2000 to 2002, and applying them to the 2003 population estimates. In both cases, an over-dispersion parameter was estimated and applied to parameter variance estimation. Ten-year age groups were considered.
    For France as a whole, method A was adopted, since the daily numbers of deaths observed from March to June 2003 were, on average, closer to the estimated values calculated using method A, did not differ significantly from them, and differed significantly from the estimated values calculated using method B. At the finer geographical scale of the 22 “regions” and 96 “departements” that constitute mainland France, method B proved superior to method A on the basis of the same criteria.
    Given the observed (O) and the expected (E) numbers of deaths, mortality was quantified using excess mortality (O-E), rounded up to the nearest integer, and mortality ratios (O/E). On the basis of the fluctuations in the daily numbers of deaths that were observed during the reference period (days of August in 2000, 2001 and 2002), “95% fluctuation intervals” were defined as intervals in which there was a 95% probability of observing the daily numbers of deaths in the future if they had the same expected value, variance and auto-correlation as the deaths which were observed during the reference period. “Fluctuation intervals” are therefore prediction intervals.
    The 95% fluctuation intervals of the observed mortality around the expected mortality for the period 2000–2002 were estimated by day, ten-day period and month, taking into account the autoregressive structure of the daily mortality-rate process and the extra-Poisson variability observed over the reference period.
    The analysis of the causes of death was conducted on the causes of death reported by the physicians making out the death certificates as the “initial” cause. The latter is defined as the cause initiating the morbid process resulting in death. The causes of death were classified using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD10) and an additional category for deaths reported to be directly related to the heat wave by the physician, i.e.: dehydration, hyperthermia and heatstroke.
    Usually, coding the medical causes of death involves a long validation process. Validation is still ongoing for 2002. In the 2003 heat wave context, validation was accelerated for August 2003. It was thus possible to compare the number of deaths by cause occurring in France in the first 20 days of August 2003 with the means of the same death counts for August 2000 and 2001, considered to be the expected number of deaths by cause. The statistical significance of the difference between the observed and expected number of deaths due to a given cause was determined under the hypothesis that the numbers of deaths used in the comparisons were independently Poisson distributed.
    The daily maximum and minimum temperature statistics used are those derived from the Météo-France network of 192 meteorological stations representative of the cities of France. For each of the 96 departements of France, a “number of very hot days” was determined. The number was defined as the number of days on which the minimum and maximum temperatures reported by the departement‘s meteorological stations simultaneously exceeded the corresponding 30-year averages by 5 and 9°C, respectively, between August 1st and 20th, 2003. The temperature cut-off points (5 and 9°C) were chosen so as to minimize the deviance of the relationship between the mortality ratios and the number of very hot days using a Poisson regression. The 96 France departements were divided into four groups with nearly equal numbers of expected deaths and an increasing number of very hot days: 0 to 1 day; 2 to 3 days; 4 to 7 days; 8 to 13 days.

  24. From the Acknowledgements section in the subject paper we find the last line, “This work was partly funded by grants from The Energy Foundation and the Wallace Global Fund to the Union of Concerned Scientists.”
    I.E. the usual suspects.
    Is there now a push to fund new ways to prove that AGW is dangerous?

  25. Il est curieux de constater en France que les veuves vivent plus longtemps que leurs maris. »
    French can be very difficult to translate to English. This phrase however is relatively simple.
    He (it) is curious of to state/note in france that widows (feminine) live more long time than their husbands.
    In 2003 the heatwave was exceptional but did not break the max temp recorded of 42°C in most of france. As people have noted many of the deaths were in paris and other big towns. It was said at the time that people taking their summer vacations left their elderly alone. The elderly did not understand the need to drink much more water than usual and were not being attended by nurses at their homes which is very common in france.
    The president (chirac) decided he needed a new solidarity tax CRDS at 0.3% of imposable revenue to ensure nurses would be available in the future. The last time I paid that tax it was heading to 2.3%.
    The phrase above was part of the denouement before seeking the tax. Because women outlive the men by 5yrs on average more women died in paris as a result of the heat.
    In SW France the temp reached 41°C and was still at 28°C at midnight moreover the temps were around 20°C at the end of fevrier and rose steadily to 30°C by the beginning of june. Thereafter they rose above 35°C and stayed there for about 6weeks. In some places the heat was punctuated by thunderstorms some of which were wet and some dry.
    I remember painting my shutters with a thermometer on the terrace reading 22°C in Fevrier.

    • You must be confusing stuff.
      CRDS = contribution au remboursement de la dette sociale (social debt)
      It means that the wonderful French social security system is a dream and hasn’t been financed (despite the fact that for an average worker, about as much money as the salary (tax included) goes to the social security system), and has a growing debt.

      • CRDS was the one I started paying at that time which I was told by the tax office was related to the 2003 deaths. However, a solidarité tax was introduced later. So yes I could have confused the two.

  26. What a wonderful idea – modeling instead of acquiring factual information. It should be a piece of cake to model a system which renders the warmists extinct! Where is my grant application form!

  27. “The paper looks at the three months June to August. It warns that no heatwave on record has ever had such a widespread effect on human health, as experienced during those months of 2003… This paper is the first to attribute the number of premature deaths to climate change during extreme heat waves.”
    This is all crap. Taking into account the margin of error of plus or minus 1 C in global temperature anomaly, years 2001 to 2013 are statistically insignificant. There should have been extreme heat waves in all these years if the cause was global warming. The attribution to “climate change” is imaginary and malicious. The heat wave was just statistical noise in natural variability. The seasonal temperature variation between winter and summer in Paris is 200 times greater than global warming.

  28. That the additional deaths were due to social dysfunctionment was largely accepted at the time, in the French media and in an official report by the Senate. The whistleblower within the medical services who alerted the media reported that deaths could have been avoided by a simple TV advertising campaign, but there was no-one at the Ministry in August to authorise the expenditure.
    Curiously, the IPCC AR4 cited the Senate report, without mentioning that it contradicted the global warming explanation. If I remember correctly, the only scientific report cited in AR4 was by a French scientist, but written in English. Maybe no-one at the IPCC could read French, or be bothered to get the numerous articles on the subject translated.
    The Wiki record is also very revealing. I looked at the Wiki articles a few years ago in French, English and Italian. There were wildly different estimates of death rates between the different articles, with the Italian one claiming more deaths in Italy than in France. Berlusconi was the much hated head of the Italian government at the time, and a political angle to the stats seemed likely. A quick look at the figures in the Czech language article suggested that every country was getting in on the act.

  29. I actually lived in central Germany (along the border of France) in 2003 and went through the heat crisis myself. So, some relative personal observations. Most people who died in France….were over the age of 60….this was noted by various German journalists studied the effects against both cultures. This was brought up over and over in commentary during the weeks and weeks of the stalled front. The belief was that French elderly were more likely to consume wine when dehydrated, than Germans who’d drink sparkling water.
    My house? Un-airconditioned. Same as 99-percent of the German neighbors. Out of 250 houses in the community….I doubt if five people had some mini-AC unit running. We all thought the front would last ten days and end…..well….we were wrong. By the 15th day….I’d take a guess that 20 of my neighbors had gone out and procured little mini-AC units. I would come home to find the interior of my house at 38-C and it rarely cooled off to 30-C by midnight. Maybe by early morning….it might get down to 27-C.
    When this all ended….the blame was set for global warming. The amusing thing is that winter was extremely harsh for the region with lower temperatures than normal. The next year? A normal summer and everyone with new AC units were standing there with no real need for them. Even today…..13 years later….I doubt if 3-percent of any neighborhood in Germany has an AC unit…..there just isn’t a need for it.

    • Yes, the Germans love Sprudel. I became addicted to Sprudel (sparkling water) when I lived there. Nothing is better when the temperature goes above 25 deg C than a few bottles of carbonated water.

    • Interesting paper.

      In this analysis we also find the following. (1) Extreme warm anomalies equally, or more, unusual than the 2003 heat wave occur regularly. (2) Extreme cold anomalies also occur regularly and occasionally exceed the magnitude of the 2003 warm anomaly in terms of the value of SD. (3) There is a correlation between global and hemispheric average temperature and the presence of warm or cold regional anomalies of the same sign (i.e., warmer than average years have more regional heat waves and colder than average years have more cold waves). (4) Natural variability in the form of El Niño and volcanic eruptions appear to be of much greater importance in causing extreme regional temperature anomalies than a simple upward trend in time. Extreme temperature anomalies in the wake of the 1997–98 El Niño were larger than the anomalies seen in summer 2003 both in area affected and SD extremes exceeded. (5) Regression analyses do not provide strong support for the idea that regional heat waves are increasing with time.

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