Extreme temperatures linked to nearly 1 million deaths

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen – 30 June 2022

The esteemed journal Science carries this story from Latin America in Climate section:

Extreme temperatures in major Latin American cities could be linked to nearly 1 million deaths

“An increase of 1°C could mean thousands of additional deaths on very hot days, according to a new study”  by Rodrigo Pérez Ortega

It leads with:

“In mid-January, the southern tip of South America suffered its worst heat wave in years. In Argentina, temperatures in more than 50 cities rose above 40°C [ 104°F ], more than 10°C [ 18°F ] warmer than the typical average temperature in cities such as Buenos Aires. The scorching heat sparked wildfires, worsened a drought, hurt agriculture, and temporarily collapsed Buenos Aires’s electrical power supply. It also killed at least 3 people, although experts estimate the true number might be much higher.

With climate change, heat waves and cold fronts are worsening and taking lives worldwide: about 5 million in the past 20 years, according to at least one study. In a new study published today in Nature Medicine, an international team of researchers estimates that almost 900,000 deaths in the years between 2002 and 2015 could be attributable to extreme temperatures alone in major Latin American cities. This is the most detailed estimate in Latin America, and the first ever for some cities.”

There is a study!  A real study published in nature medicine  authored by Josiah L. Kephart  and eleven others.  “City-level impact of extreme temperatures and mortality in Latin America” [ .pdf here ].

Let’s start with the abstract and compare it to the lede in Science.

“Climate change and urbanization are rapidly increasing human exposure to extreme ambient temperatures, yet few studies have examined temperature and mortality in Latin America. We conducted a nonlinear, distributed-lag, longitudinal analysis of daily ambient temperatures and mortality among 326 Latin American cities between 2002 and 2015. We observed 15,431,532 deaths among ≈2.9 billion person-years of risk. The excess death fraction of total deaths was 0.67% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58–0.74%) for heat-related deaths and 5.09% (95% CI 4.64–5.47%) for cold-related deaths. The relative risk of death was 1.057 (95% CI 1.046–1.067%) per 1 °C higher temperature during extreme heat and 1.034 (95% CI 1.028–1.040%) per 1 °C lower temperature during extreme cold. In Latin American cities, a substantial proportion of deaths is attributable to nonoptimal ambient temperatures. Marginal increases in observed hot temperatures are associated with steep increases in mortality risk. These risks were strongest among older adults and for cardiovascular and respiratory deaths.”

One of the amusing things we see right off is the use of Large Numbers:  15,431,532 deaths, 2.9 billion person-years of risk.  Well, they have a huge population over a very large area (1.5 continents) over 13 years during which 15.4 million people died.   But what of the results?

The excess death fraction of total deaths was 0.67% (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58–0.74%) for heat-related deaths

The excess death fraction of total deaths was 5.09% (95% CI 4.64–5.47%) for cold-related deaths

Bottom Line: Excess Death Fraction for cold-related deaths is 7.5 times higher than for heat-related death.

And for Relative Risk (RR) change per 1°C change in highest/lowest temperature?

The relative risk of death was 1.057 (95% CI 1.046–1.067%) per 1 °C higher temperature during extreme heat and 1.034 (95% CI 1.028–1.040%) per 1 °C lower temperature during extreme cold.

Bottom Line: While the study makes a big deal about the difference in these two RRs, with a difference of only 0.023 – they are in terms of medical science, often considered identical. 

There is no reason, however, to believe that this small difference is not real.  It may just show that human bodies have a different limit responses to small changes at highest and lowest temperatures when averaged across a large enough population. 

At every turn in this paper, the authors make the attempt to make heat the villain despite the far greater risk of dying from cold:

“Overall, a substantially higher proportion of deaths is attributable to ambient cold than to ambient heat, which corroborates findings from similar analyses in other settings. A 2021 analysis by Zhao et al. estimated temperature–mortality associations in 750 locations from 43 countries (including 66 locations in Latin America and the Caribbean), and extrapolated these estimates glob ally at 0.5° × 0.5° grid size (approximately 55 × 55 km2 at the equator) using meta-predictors. The Zhao et al. study reported global EDFs of 8.52% for cold and 0.91% for heat for all-age, all-cause mortality. This global EDF for cold (8.52%) is almost twice our estimated EDF for cold within Latin American cities (4.71%).”


“A 2017 study, which included 32 locations in Mexico, Brazil and Chile, projected that, under multiple climate-change scenarios, midcentury decreases in cold-related mortality would approximately counterbalance increases in heat-related mortality, yet by the end of the twenty-first century overwhelming heat-related mortality would cause a substantial net increase in temperature-related excess mortality.”

[ Yes, that 2017 study finding uses RCP8.5. – kh ]

The Pérez Ortega study we are looking at today summarizes its findings in this table:

I have written about Cause of Death and its uses in studies more than once:    Cause of Death: A Primer and Cause of Death: Follow-up.  This study is not about heat deaths or cold deaths.  It is about All Cause Deaths with details about the major causes: Cardiovascular Deaths, Respiratory Deaths, and Respiratory Infection Death with breakouts for All Ages and Ages 65+.  

This study does not even consider categories of deaths caused by extremes of temperature, hot or cold.  There are cause of death codes for excessive natural heat “2022 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code X30 Exposure to excessive natural heat” and cold “2022 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code X31 Exposure to excessive natural cold”.   Quite simply, they did not count people killed by heat or people killed by cold, at all, not one.

The question the study asks and tries to answer is “Do more people than normal die in Latin America when it is unusually hot or when it is unusually cold?”

What they fail to ask and fail to analyze are the most likely culprits in the issue itself:  what are the poverty and development levels in the cities studied?  Surely poverty and lack of development — lack of electricity, lack of clean water, lack of appropriate housing and lack of even basic healthcare and social support have far more impact on the extreme numbers of “temperature related deaths” than the temperatures themselves.  

BOTTOM LINE:  While it comes as no surprise, this study confirms that more people die when ambient temperatures are at extreme levels (much higher or much lower than usual) for the locality.  This study confirms that far more die when it is unusually extremely cold than when it is unusually extremely hot.  This is a fact affecting older people (65+) more than younger people and these excess deaths are a result of heart (cardiovascular) and breathing (respiratory) problems – but do not from directly from the heat or cold itself.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment:

Readers here already know that cold kills far more than heat.  This study finds this to be true once again.  The authors have made feeble attempts – not based on their own study but on speculative RCP8.5 studies – to claim that this will cause more, not less, future deaths if general climates continue to warm. 

As with all studies that use All Cause mortality, there is no “cause” found, only various vaguely related correlations.  All Cause Mortality is one of the absolutely worst indicators to be used in such studies and is used, quite frankly, because it is easyCause of Death is hard, complicated, complex, and records of ICD-10 codes are unreliable (doctors are in a hurry or doctors lie…).   It is hard to determine the real causes of individual deaths but easy to determine and count dead bodies. 

We already knew that more people, particularly (us) old folks die when it is very hot or very cold.  We already knew that far more die when it is very cold than when very hot.  I am not convinced that this study found anything that makes mankind more knowledgeable or anything that will help policy makers in nations or localities set better policy to make a better world.  In that sense, this study is “useless”.

# # # # #


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June 29, 2022 10:21 pm

Death by CO2 warming. Yet the electricity produced by the coal power plant was used to heat or cool homes as required, thereby saving lives. An enigma…

Reply to  DMacKenzie
June 29, 2022 11:45 pm

I’m sure if the enigma was explored they’d discover that regardless if the death were assigned as ’caused’ by extreme cold or heat, the real cause will be government interference or negligence in that they cause poor economic conditions, such as high energy prices and unemployment/underemployment from idiot policy decisions, so that people can’t afford A/C, clean fresh water, warm clothing and shelter, proper medical care.

And certainly 0.15°C warming over a decade is not going to factor in anyone’s death – certainly not compared to forced vaccination by experimental vaccines, lockdowns causing emotional distress and delays in medical care of genuine serious medical conditions. A city simply getting larger or a person moving to the city in search of employment will subject people to higher increases in temperature that the climate emergency boogeyman.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 9:26 am

“like the slum covered hills of Tijuana” or south Chicago.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 11:45 am

Yes, in the US they bulldozed the shacks years ago and replaced them with “Housing Projects.” They might no look as unsightly but the living conditions are probably worse.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 1, 2022 7:36 am

Thank you Kip. Kip wrote the most important conclusion here:
“At every turn in this paper, the authors make the attempt to make heat the villain despite the far greater risk of dying from cold.”
This is just one more misleading woke paper trying to spin the falsehood that hot weather is more deadly than cold weather, which is the opposite of the truth.
The greens never get tired of spinning more lies to promote their CAGW fraud. It’s annoying. So many people have no critical thinking skills and believe the green climate guano.
by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae
Regards, Allan
Joe d’Aleo and I had written a paper on Excess Winter Mortality based on other evidence when the major Lancet study was published, so we revised our paper to include that excellent study. The summary reads:
“Cold weather kills. Throughout history and in modern times, many more people succumb to cold exposure than to hot weather, as evidenced in a wide range of cold and warm climates.
Evidence is provided from a study of 74 million deaths in thirteen cold and warm countries including Thailand and Brazil, and studies of the United Kingdom, Europe, the USA, Australia and Canada.
Contrary to popular belief, Earth is colder-than-optimum for human survival. A warmer world, such as was experienced during the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period, is expected to lower winter deaths and a colder world like the Little Ice Age will increase winter mortality, absent adaptive measures.
These conclusions have been known for many decades, based on national mortality statistics.”
September 4, 2015
by Joseph D’Aleo and Allan MacRae
The elderly and the poor in the United Kingdom, Germany and other countries are suffering increased winter deaths due to high energy costs. In the UK, this human disaster is called “Heat or Eat”. 
The Excess Winter Mortality Rate in Britain is much higher than that in Canada. Canada has a population of about 35 million and the UK about 65 million, but Excess Winter Mortality in Canada is about 5000 to 10,000 per year, and in the UK it is 25,000 to 50,000 per year.
Canada and the UK have genetically similar populations and similar health care systems. Canada tends to be colder but mostly drier than the UK. However, Canada generally has much lower energy costs and better-insulated housing and probably better central heating systems, on average. This suggests that adaptation to winter and low energy costs are significant drivers of lower Winter Mortality rates.
Imagine IF the UK had competent politicians in the past several decades instead of warmist imbeciles. Instead of spending billions on green energy debacles, they could have spent the funds on improving home insulation and central heating, and encouraged fracking of shales to reduce natural gas prices, and a whole lot of grannies and grandpa’s would still be alive for their grandchildren.
Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple.
When politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die.
Regards, Allan

Post Script:
The latest news is that Britain is about to drop its Net Zeroo nonsense and start fracking the oily shales around Blackpool that we recommended five years ago in 2017 (and much earlier) – politicians are such slow learners – hopeless imbeciles.

Last edited 11 months ago by Allan MacRae
Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 1, 2022 11:07 am

Hi again Kip. With atypical modesty, I must recommend the Lancet paper we cited as a great and substantial piece of work:

Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study – The Lancet
by Gasparrini et al, May 2015.

Joe and I pulled our earlier paper to include its huge database in our report. Fabulous work!

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 1, 2022 10:55 am

Thank you Kip. Today July 1 is Canada Day. In case I forget, an early “Happy Glorious Fourth of July” to all my American friends. I pray for our two failing nations and for a swift replacement of our traitorous Marxist leadership.

Technical talk:
For so many of our analyses on Climate and Covid, it is useful to simply use “All-Cause Total Deaths”, in part because the detailed illness data has been so corrupted. Total deaths is hard to corrupt because it is binary – a zero or a one. BE A “ONE”!

In Alberta and Canada there was no “Total Death Bump” (increase in the trend) in the 12 months ending 1July2020 – the end of the first “flu season” of Covid-19. None! In Alberta the average age of death attributed to Covid-19 to this date was 82 – think about what that means).
(See my CorrectPredictions.ca for a plot of the six-year, no-bump, death trend in Alberta and Canada to 1July2020.)

No Total Death Bump means no real pandemic – an illness yes, but certainly not a pandemic – for a real pandemic you’ve got to kill a lot of people. Canada did not do anything really sensible to treat Covid, except we did do early treatment, but still forbade Zinc ionophores Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin (due to the corrupt rat-bastards in our health system who were paid to push the toxic “vaccines” – same as the USA, the UK, and elsewhere).

The USA solved that (lack of total mortality) problem by paying hospitals to perform incredibly-wrong, very-late-and-extreme treatment of Covid-19 patients with remdesivir (which causes liver and kidney failure) and ventilators to finish them off. Also in New York and nearby, patients with active Covid were put back into old-folks homes to infect them. Based on Canada’s successful experience, ~all of these deaths were avoidable with early treatment.

Finally, some bad-but-expected news: I got a note yesterday from Steve Kirsch that Dr Zev Zelenko had died of cancer at age 48. Zev was a great man – I loved this guy for his powerful intellect and his unbreakable integrity. So long Zev – great job!

Last edited 11 months ago by Allan MacRae
Michael Zorn
June 29, 2022 10:25 pm

Why does it compare persons with person-years?

Reply to  Michael Zorn
June 29, 2022 10:34 pm

like idiots that don’t know the difference between KWh and KW

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  H B
June 30, 2022 3:19 am

Or even between kW and KW…

Craig from Oz
Reply to  Michael Zorn
June 30, 2022 6:19 pm

My understanding – so open to correction and don’t quote me in your final exam – is ‘Person Years’ is an attempt to put the deaths into an age based perspective.

The difference between ‘They had their whole life ahead of them!’ and ‘Well… they had a good innings’

So if the mean age at death for a region is say 80 years and someone dies at 79 you might say that 1 person year was lost.

In comparison if a child was tragically removed from our love the claim could be 80 person years.

The complication is that this implies that one new born is more important to keep alive than 79 old people, which is a big ethical can of worms and points more fingers than a glove factory.

What is more important? Making sure you don’t “Knock off Nonna” or protecting the life of an infant? I mean if you want to get literal, an older person has decades of experience and the associated decades of spending invested in them, where a new born is not instantly useful to society and has – so far – cost you relatively little. Hence by this logic protecting the young is a lower priority as they are easier to replace.

Big ethical questions. When does ruined lives and heartbreak transition into numbers on a page?

Dunno. I think basically each and everyone of you needs to love their family members, cause bureaucrats certainly are not going to.

June 29, 2022 11:02 pm

Always love a good story about, “we’re all going to die…. again”.

June 29, 2022 11:07 pm

I have been looking at ways to show how ocean surfaces have a temperature limited range from -1.8C to 30C.

The attached shows the ocean surface temperature response to solar EMR at top of the atmosphere area averaged over a year cycle.

I am naming it the double igloo effect; sea ice on water surface limits heat loss and atmospheric ice above 8km limits heat input. Very price and simple to understand.

There is no GHE on Earth’s anergy balance and CO2 does zip.

Let’s put an end to demonising CO2 and recognise that Earth’s energy balance is controlled by tight temperature limits.

Reply to  RickWill
June 30, 2022 4:36 am

Sorry but I don’t follow the “Very Price” and “Earth’s anergy balance bit”. I’m not a scientist and don’t pretend to be one but this makes no sense at all.

Sceptical Sam
Reply to  Simonsays
June 30, 2022 7:12 am

That’s all very nice.

You don’t have to be a scientist to be able to think. Can you think?

MM from Canada
June 29, 2022 11:38 pm

Heat waves spark wildfires? Since when?

Reply to  MM from Canada
June 30, 2022 4:05 am

“Only you can prevent forest fires. ” Smokey the Bear 🐻

Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 1, 2022 3:41 am

Global warming tends to be accompanied by more rain which could be a factor in reducing acres burned.

Also, if the grass and underbrush is already dry and good fuel for a fire, a few tenths of a degree warmer can’t make already dry brush any drier. There is typically a dry “fire season” in California. If the average temperature moves up (or down) a few tenths of a degree, there is STILL a dry fire season in California.

Up to 90% of forest fires are man made. How would a few tenths of a degree of temperature increase change human behavior?

Doc Chuck
Reply to  MM from Canada
June 30, 2022 11:43 pm

For those of us of a certain ripe age ‘sparking’ was an amorous stage on the way to providing the subsequent generation — probably many of you. More recently it visually imagines fire ignition that is not actually engendered by those additional ambient degrees beyond a normal summer afternoon, though some in such dread may be understood for wearing a hat so their hair doesn’t likewise burst into flames.

June 29, 2022 11:47 pm

Got to love how the media can blame a temporary 10°C heat wave on 2°C per century climate change.

rhoda klapp
June 29, 2022 11:47 pm

A million? Really? What were their names, in case I want to send condolences?

June 30, 2022 12:11 am

In the UK one is TEN times more likely to die of cold, than heat. Hence the planned power cuts this winter….

Stephen Skinner
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 11:13 am

The usual, in other words.

Paul C
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 11:54 am

Well, that was the morning session sorted. Did the weather get a bit more changeable in the afternoon?

Paul C
Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
June 30, 2022 12:01 pm

The heat-related deaths are far higher than they would be if we were in any way geared up to cope with hot weather. Because a heat-wave is so unusual and normally brief in the UK, our normal response is to open a window. The ten times more cold-related deaths are in spite of expecting that weather, and our homes being focused on coping with the cold.

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
July 1, 2022 3:48 am

Of course all cardiac patients know cold weather can be dangerous.

Consider this effect of global warming where I live (Detroit suburbs).
Last winter we had the mildest winter with the least snow (by far) since I moved here in 1977. Observations from the same home since 1987.
The mild weather and lack of snow to shovel had to prevent some heart attacks and deaths. Warmer winters MUST save lives.

If someone wants to wild guess the number of deaths from bad weather, they should also wild guess the number of lives saved from warmer winters. Not that Northern Hemisphere snowfall (Rutgers data) has changed much, but Detroit snowfall last winter was unbelievably low.

Last edited 11 months ago by Richard Greene
June 30, 2022 12:38 am

“With climate change, heat waves and cold fronts are worsening”

So, to recap; it’s getting hotter and it’s getting colder.

That covers all the bases

Dave Fair
Reply to  fretslider
June 30, 2022 11:36 am

Lies, damned lies and CliSciFi speculation.

Stephen Skinner
June 30, 2022 12:42 am

OMG. People actually die!

Reply to  Stephen Skinner
June 30, 2022 3:24 am

We must stop that. Let’s pass a Law!

Reply to  Disputin
June 30, 2022 5:17 am

We must stop that. Let’s pass a law, send funding

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 7:13 am

Includes me – yeah, let’s do it 🙂

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 11:51 am

For you, Kip, and anybody else asking I’ll arrange for shipments of Army surplus brown wool blankets (the thin, scratchy kind) and those cheap battery powered hand-held plastic fans. Between them that should eliminate any excess deaths from either cold or heat, no matter anybody’s age or adverse health issues. No need to thank me for my altruistic lifesaving work; I’m just glad to help out humanity.

Rod Evans
June 30, 2022 1:17 am

All studies have shown there are multiple more deaths from cold temperatures across the world, than there are from hot temperatures.
Until that fundamental reality is reversed, we must conclude that an increase in ambient temperature is a positive life saver overall.
Here, in the height of summer in the UK, I lit the wood burner last night to put some warmth into the house.
When you find the ongoing global warming’s hiding place, please send some of it this way. The bees need the warmth, my honey harvesting has been zero so far this year…..

Reply to  Rod Evans
June 30, 2022 3:57 am

Surely that’s net zero?!

I don’t know how much of this scorching 17C weather I can take

Last edited 11 months ago by strativarius
Reply to  Rod Evans
June 30, 2022 4:03 am

Huh? I’m still on my first cup of non-PC grown coffee, but
I’m pretty sure here in the US I keep hearing “heat is deadlier than cold”.

Reply to  bluecat57
June 30, 2022 5:21 am

you may hear that in the press, but the vital statistics, when you do the number crunching, tell a different story. Cold kills far more, but doesn’t support the totalitarian narrative so is never to be mentioned in the traditional press (party propaganda apparatus.)

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  OweninGA
June 30, 2022 11:58 am

Don’t worry, when the temperature ‘trend’ starts heading downward again (and they can no longer hide it with ‘data’ “adjustments”), they’ll trumpet the number of cold temperature related deaths from every hilltop.

Because, you know, THAT will be our fault too. And of course it will STILL be because of our fossil fuel use.(/sarc if I really need it)

burl Henry
Reply to  Rod Evans
June 30, 2022 4:45 am

Rod Evans:

“Until that fundamental reality is reversed”

Net-Zero will reverse it:

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 30, 2022 1:49 am

Perhaps one day someone will compute all the deaths caused by stupidity…

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 30, 2022 3:22 am

Nah, probably too close to infinity.

Reply to  Disputin
June 30, 2022 5:07 am

That’s why ya can’t fix stupid. Too much of it out there. Ignorance can be fixed, with good solid info and an open mind to accept the facts of whatever. Stupidity, on the other hand, is permanent as evidenced by all the AGW cultists running around.

Reply to  Disputin
June 30, 2022 5:24 am

I don’t think there have been nearly that many people die in history. However, the correlation of death and someone’s stupid action (not necessarily the deceased’s) is insignificantly different from unity.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
June 30, 2022 11:59 am

How about by government policy. But then I’m repeating what you said…

June 30, 2022 3:18 am

Kip – Are excess deaths when it’s cold or hot directly attributable to the temperature or possibly other seasonal effects, flu for instance? Does it matter?

Reply to  Tom.1
June 30, 2022 4:01 am

Can’t answer the first part.
But it does NOT matter.
Get with the program facts do NOT matter.
It is all about FEELINGS. Nothing but feelings. Now I gotta go find a music video.

Reply to  Tom.1
June 30, 2022 5:28 am

I would think regionality would factor in to that conclusion. Respiratory illness is higher in higher latitude winter and lower latitude summer due to when people confine themselves to indoor activities. (at least in the developed areas – I haven’t crunched the numbers for places without heating and cooling.)

Reply to  Tom.1
July 1, 2022 3:54 am

Very few people die from the flu.
Thise who die tend to be the elderly with comorbidities
who were already near the end. Their death certificates
will not blame their deaths on flu. May not even be mentioned
as a contributory factor, As a result, flu deaths are calculated
by the CDC using a computer model. What could be more
accurate than a CDC computer model? Most doctors think
flu deaths are overestimated by the CDC.

June 30, 2022 3:20 am

could mean thousands of additional deaths…

Thanks, Kip. No need to read further.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Disputin
June 30, 2022 12:00 pm

Yes, as usual, weasel word identified.

Old Man Winter
June 30, 2022 3:24 am

Latin America’s average temperature is higher than the average global temperature, with a record
hi/lo of 127F/-27F. Argentina’s the only more heavily populated nation with an avg T < 68F, with
most of the people living in the warmer areas. Since extreme cold usually is deadlier than extreme
heat, Latin America doesn’t get extremely cold but it’s record hi’s within 7F of the global record.
Much of Latin America’s tropical & has 2 small areas of desert, with few people living there. So the increase in heat & humidity is at a point where it will adversely affect the body more than a decrease
at lower temps will. This is probably why the RR is almost equal for both increasing & decreasing

Mark Pawelek
June 30, 2022 3:31 am

could be attributable

is a code phrase. It means “we made it up using a model.”

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
June 30, 2022 5:13 am

I luv how the “scientists” seem to be hedging their bets on making proclamations these days. The balance between the continued funding and actually being factual without outside influence. Glad I’m not a scientist, nor claim to be, these days. Tough decisions. Especially if one is without ethics and integrity. Like politicians.

Dave Fair
Reply to  RevJay4
June 30, 2022 11:57 am

“… if one is without ethics and integrity.” all decisions are easy.

Ron Long
June 30, 2022 3:33 am

“The scorching heat sparked wildfires.” That’s some kind of heat! Dry grass and similar “wild” materials start to combust at about 300 deg C (570 deg F) and I’m guessing that temperature will cause a lot more fatalities than a paltry million.

June 30, 2022 3:56 am

Temperature, covid, and abortion seem to be equally deadly.
I was going somewhere with that but my cup of sarcasm hasn’t kicked in yet.
We only fear 2 of the 3.
Nope. Nothing yet.

Reply to  bluecat57
June 30, 2022 4:13 am

Something for nothing?

“Britain should offer free abortions to American women who can no longer get them legally, UK doctors have said.”


The NHS is a truly international service

Reply to  fretslider
June 30, 2022 4:18 am

I have wanted to travel to the UK for over 50 years.
I identify as pregnant desiring an abortion.
Where to I get my ticket?

Reply to  bluecat57
June 30, 2022 4:41 am

See your doctor or pharmacist

Reply to  fretslider
June 30, 2022 5:33 am

If it is the NHS, they get put on the waiting list at 12 weeks and get their appointment for three days after the little tyke is born. That is what I observed on cancer treatment and heart ailments when I lived there. Enough people raised a stink that they started paying to send some patients to France and Germany.

Reply to  fretslider
June 30, 2022 10:34 pm

Sounds like an act of war.

June 30, 2022 4:08 am

1 million deaths presumably from temperature extremens, out of a population of 7 billion? Is this even statistically significant? What were the stats before A/C was invented? Anyone have that.

June 30, 2022 4:27 am

It’s always struck me as bloody obvious that extreme cold kills more than extreme heat, just based on human body temperature. The hottest places in the world average maybe 110-120 degrees in their hottest months, only 10-20 degrees above body temperature. Meanwhile, the coldest places in the world get as low as -70 in their coldest months, nearly 170 degrees below body temperature. Even excluding outliers like Antarctica, the coldest places in the habitable zone are still well over 100 degrees below human body temperature in their coldest months.

Extreme heat will kill the old and infirm given enough time, but extreme cold will kill EVERYONE who is exposed to it for more than a few hours.

Reply to  Steve4192
June 30, 2022 5:21 am

There ya go. Bet ya didn’t get paid a big bunch of bucks to come up with that gem of common sense.
Seems like some of us have the ability to look at info and see how true it is without a big grant to study something which should as plain as the nose on your face.
I like your observation, obviously, cuz its simple. Remember, K.I.S.S.? Which more folks did.

June 30, 2022 5:44 am

OMG! Another useless study. The folks who pursue these things are paid to blather on about stuff that us more experienced people know to be true. Just from living on the planet. And paying attention. I should’ve got a degree in some field where I could make big bucks just spouting nonsense.
I sleep pretty well at night, for a seasoned citizen, knowing that in the morning Kip Hansen or someone else will not take apart whatever I did yesterday, and prove me to be a idiot.

Coach Springer
June 30, 2022 5:49 am

“could” “attributable”

Loaded words.

Lance Wallace
Reply to  Coach Springer
June 30, 2022 6:30 am

Another study published today in Nature dealt with temperature variability as a cause of excess mortality.(Wu et al, 2022).
Early on, the authors felt it necessary to state: “We have seen an increased mortality burden attributable to hot temperatures,16.” But no mention of cold temperatures killing 10 times more.

Reply to  Lance Wallace
July 1, 2022 4:00 am

The hotter temperatures from global warming tend to be TMIN, not TMAX. Warmer at night. And mainly during the coldest months of the year. Most US states, for example, set TMAX daytime heat records in the 1930s. Few in the past 20 years. Continent heat records are similar. No one lives in the global average temperature.

Lance Wallace
June 30, 2022 6:32 am

Another study published today in Nature dealt with temperature variability as a cause of excess mortality.(Wu et al, 2022).
Early on, the authors felt it necessary to state: “We have seen an increased mortality burden attributable to hot temperatures,16.” But no mention of cold temperatures killing 10 times more.

Michael in Dublin
June 30, 2022 6:54 am

I grew up in a semi-desert area with temperatures reaching over 40C in the summer and people did not die because of the heat – that was when air conditioners were a rarity in the homes of the wealthiest.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
June 30, 2022 7:25 am

We had a swamp cooler back in the early 70s out on the Mojave in southern California. It worked a treat until my grandmother came to visit and kept closing the windows. If there is no air flow, a swamp cooler doesn’t work.

(For those that have not used one, a swamp cooler is a big blower with a large set of filter element looking things surrounding its intake. Water is slowly trickled through the filter units and the heat of evaporation is lost from the air. It will cool a house pretty well in the dry desert environment, but must have a constant flow of air out of the house to work properly so all the windows were opened about an eighth of an inch to keep air flowing out.)

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 8:02 am

They are still used here (Colo.) with the very low humidity, although new construction invariably uses A/C.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 12:21 pm

While not having looked into the issue, I notice that here in Las Vegas some houses have dual swamp cooler and A/C units mounted on their roofs. I assume the A/C is used when its muggy.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 12:37 pm

Misting systems are used today (residential & commercial), and my deceased wife who died of neither hot nor cold, carried a spray bottle when heading out on hot days. [All such things require water.]

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 8:03 am

A great example of the effects of the deadly greenhouse gas known as water vapor.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
July 1, 2022 4:02 am

Probably dry heat.
And fewer obese people back then.
And a younger population too.

June 30, 2022 7:49 am

“Extreme temperatures in major Latin American cities could be linked to nearly 1 million deaths”

Use of the operative “could” implies the operative “could not”.

June 30, 2022 8:48 am

All this is moot – by far most deaths are caused by poverty, caused in main part by a lack of inexpensive abundant energy.

June 30, 2022 9:04 am

I expect that one factor that is not being considered in studies like these is the effects of an aging population. It is well known that people tend to survive much longer now than decades ago, even more so in developing countries than in fully developed countries. The ability of the human body to regulate its own internal body temperature becomes degraded, in part due to reduced blood circulation, other health issues, and the heavy use of certain medicines. This factor affects tolerance of both heat and cold.

A little over century ago, in 1920, the average life expectancy for women was 54.6 years, compared to 78.9 years today. That’s a humongous change – an increase in life expectancy of 44%!

So if more people are living longer, but normal aging makes them more susceptible to illness or death due to extreme heat or cold, then those deaths really cannot be considered “excess deaths” since in prior decades such people wouldn’t have lived long enough to die of such a cause. A method of calculating “net excess deaths” would be necessary to properly characterize what is happening.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Duane
June 30, 2022 11:45 am

It is well known that people tend to survive much longer now than decades ago,

It may be “well known,” but it is an Urban Legend. Because of hygiene, vaccinations, and antibiotics, far fewer children die now than previously. Far fewer young women die in child birth, and wars take far fewer lives of men of military age. Thus, the average life expectancy from birth has increased. However, look at an actuarial table and see the remaining expected years for a 55-year old woman in 1920 and compare that to a 55-year old today. You won’t see a 44% increase. If one makes it through the high-risk years, the increased life expectancy is only marginal.

June 30, 2022 9:29 am

I’ve always found 75 a very pleasant temperature but when it hits 76 I feel like I’m going to die.

June 30, 2022 9:41 am

But not to worry – the WHO will control this too. It’s almost in their hands now. Come to poppa.

Ulric Lyons
June 30, 2022 9:45 am

With climate change, heat waves and cold fronts are worsening

From the linked article:

“Finally, one group of researchers, led by Nicholas Leach, a graduate student at the University of Oxford, is betting that detailed weather forecasting models can give a more precise picture of global warming’s role in weather than coarser climate models. They simulated the 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave with the world-leading model of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. After lowering carbon dioxide levels and removing human-driven heat from the ocean, the model reproduced a similar heat wave, although the highs were 2°C or so cooler than in the actual event, the team reported last month at the EGU meeting. The model’s many runs for each scenario will allow them to assess whether climate change made the heat wave more likely. But WWA’s statement that the event was “virtually impossible” without warming was likely an overreach, Leach says. “We don’t find that in our model.””

Seems rational that extra CO2 forcing in theory could intensify the heatwave but not make it more likely. The main problem is that they don’t have a theory for heatwaves, just the assumption that weather variability is chaotic gurgling of the climate system, often leading to assumptions of a warming climate making the weather gurgle more furiously. A study of historic major heatwaves of the last 1000 years should make it clear that they have nothing to do with the state of the global climate.
I contend that major European heatwaves are completely impossible without their discrete solar forcing, as well as brief Saharan plumes under negative NAO conditions like in summer 2019, which is irrational to attribute to rising CO2 forcing (as Friederike Otto has done), as that is expected to increase positive NAO conditions.
This covers four out the five hottest UK summers in the last 50 years:


John Hultquist
Reply to  Ulric Lyons
June 30, 2022 12:49 pm

“<i>  CO2 forcing in theory could intensify the heatwave</i>”

Cliff Mass reported on the heat in Washington State of June 2021.
Roughly speaking, he said the CO2 forcing was insignificant.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  John Hultquist
June 30, 2022 3:01 pm

Yes probably nearer to 0.2°C than 2°C.

Rick C
June 30, 2022 9:55 am

Wait just a dang burn minute. If climate change results in slight increase in average temperature due mostly to less cold winters and nights, then climate change should be effectively reducing cool temperature mortality. This must surely off-set any increase in heat related deaths. They certainly cannot argue that Climate change both increases hot temperatures and decreases cold temperatures. — Well they can I suppose, but they’d look like idiots.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 2:55 pm

I can see CO2 having the most effect in hot dry conditions with low humidity in daytime. It doesn’t have the heat capacity to retain heat at night like water vapour does, so it would speed up cooling of the atmosphere at night, probably giving a warmer dusk but a colder dawn.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 1, 2022 5:31 pm

That was day to night, not day to day. As the surface warms, greenhouse gases absorb and re-radiate more longwave infrared. That changes hour to hour. Less water vapour means relatively more absorption by CO2, like where their absorption bands overlap. Unlike CO2, water vapour absorbs significant amounts of solar shortwave, in the near infrared. So atmospheric water vapour lowers potential daytime surface temperatures while CO2 will raise them.

June 30, 2022 10:02 am

The study blamed urbanization for part of the increase in ambient temps. How much of that increase was caused by the UHI effect? If the increase in temps is 3 degrees and 5 degrees of that is caused by UHI, then the non-urban area is actually cooling.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
June 30, 2022 2:13 pm

Kip: UHI has nothing to do with climate change.

Clyde Spencer
June 30, 2022 11:25 am

One might argue that with more people dying from extreme cold than from extreme heat, the optimal temperature is warmer than at present. That is, when the excess deaths are equal, then any change would be away from the optimal.

Gunga Din
June 30, 2022 12:11 pm

I’m 68 and I still smoke.
I’m under no illusion that smoking has had no adverse effect on my health.
But if I die by being being hit by a truck crossing the street, the rabid anti-smoking crowd … er … anti-tobacco crowd (Smoking pot is OK.) will claim I was crossing the street to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Planned brownouts, blackouts that cut off heat and AC because a Green-Dream grid can’t supply reliable energy to protect from the weather has nothing to do with these “climate” deaths. Nor does age. Without Man’s CO2, we’d all live forever!

John Hultquist
June 30, 2022 12:21 pm

Justice Kagan is as clueless as RCP8.5.

June 30, 2022 2:26 pm

How many migrated to Antarctica in the period of the study to get away from the oppressive heat?

June 30, 2022 5:52 pm

dont worry they are working on a vaccine

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