Latest figures have shown that more than 20,000 people died across western Europe in this summer’s heatwaves, in temperatures that would have been virtually impossible without climate breakdown.
Scientists from the World Weather Attribution group who undertook the study said that analysis of excess deaths, the difference between the number of deaths that happened and those expected based on historical trends, reveals the threats posed by climate change-induced global heating.
Findings from the study showed that during the summer heatwaves, temperatures exceeded 40C (104F) in London, areas in southwest France reached 42C and Seville and Córdoba in Spain set records of 44C. The study found that such high temperatures would have been “virtually impossible” without the climate crisis.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 3,271 excess deaths were recorded between 1 June and 7 September, – 6.2% higher than the five-year average In England and Wales. Data released by Santé Publique France, the government health agency showed that In France, there were 10,420 excess deaths reported during the summer months.
The study further showed that One in four of these deaths, or 2,816, happened during one of the three intense heatwaves that hit the country. The excess deaths were 20% higher in regions where extreme temperature red alerts had been issued.
The Robert Koch Institute, the German government health agency, also estimates that at least 4,500 people died in the country during the summer months specifically due to extreme temperatures.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.