Ground Report | New Delhi: More than 83 thousand people die; A recent study showed that every year more than 5 million people die due to extreme hot or cold conditions around the world. It is estimated that it is responsible for about 9.4 percent of the total deaths in the world, which is equivalent to 74 additional deaths per lakh people. Of these, extreme cold was responsible for 8.52 percent of deaths and extreme heat for about 0.91 percent.
More than 50 lakh people die
The research, led by Monash University, is published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal collected worldwide mortality and temperature data from 2000 to 2019. A period when global temperatures increased by 0.26C per decade.
The study, of course, links above and below optimum temperatures (corresponding to minimum death temperatures) to annual increases in mortality, found that 9.43 percent of global deaths can be attributed to cold and warm temperatures. This equates to 74 additional deaths for every 100,000 people, most of which are due to cold exposure.
Similarly, in India, where 83,700 people die every year due to extreme heat, the death toll due to extreme cold is about 6.55 lakh. However, as global temperatures continue to rise, heat-related deaths are also increasing, clearly indicating that climate change may worsen the situation in the future.
The surprising thing is that between 2000 and 2019, where there has been a decrease of 0.51 percent in deaths due to cold, there has been an increase of 0.21 percent in deaths due to heat. In this sense, there has been a reduction in net mortality due to cold and hot temperatures. The largest decline in the net death rate has been recorded in Southeast Asia, while it has seen a temporary increase in South Asia and Europe.
0.26 °C increase in temperature per decade
To understand this, more than a dozen scientists from around the world analyzed mortality and meteorological data at 750 locations in 43 countries between 2000 and 2019. This showed that the mean daily temperature at these locations increased by 0.26 °C per decade.
According to the data, the death toll from extreme temperatures was the highest in Asia. While 2.24 lakh people lost their lives every year due to scorching heat, 24 lakh people lost their lives due to severe cold. Similarly, where 178,700 people died due to severe heat in Europe, 11.8 lakh people died due to severe cold in Africa.
Research has shown that more than half of the world’s total deaths due to extreme temperatures occur in Asia, especially in East and South Asia. Similarly, Europe had the highest death rate per million people due to heat, while sub-Saharan Africa had the highest death rate due to cold per million people.