One of the most confronting impacts of climate change is the risk of more deaths from hot weather. Heat stress can exacerbate existing health conditions including diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease. Older people are particularly vulnerable.
It may then surprise you to learn a few recent studies have suggested climate change will decrease temperature-related deaths in Australia. And a related study published in The Lancet found the cold kills more people in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane than the heat.
But my research, published in Climatic Change, disputes these results.
Using a similar methodology as that used in the study published in The Lancet, I found the majority of deaths related to temperature in Australia are caused by heat.
As temperature-related deaths are one of the main measures we use to assess the effects of climate change, it’s important we measure them accurately and consistently.