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A third of heat deaths are due to climate change

A woman during a heat wave in Spain. (Photo: EFE)

Global warming affects human health in many ways, one of them is the increase in mortality associated with heat, the real impact of which has never been calculated. Now, for the first time, a study confirms that, in recent decades, at least one in three of those deaths was a consequence of climate change.

Directed by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the University of Bern (Switzerland) and done in collaboration with Spanish universities in Barcelona, ​​Santiago de Compostela, Valencia and Madrid, the research concludes that between 1991 and 2018, 37 % of heat-related deaths were due to man-made climate change.

The study also warns that local changes in climate and the vulnerability of its population triggered the percentage of deaths in Central and South American countries (up to 76% in Ecuador or Colombia, for example) and in Southeast Asia. (between 48% and 61%).

The research, which was published this Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, is based on data from 732 localities in 43 countries around the world, the largest carried out to date.

Spain, one of the countries with the most warming

According to the study authors, Spain is one of the southern European countries where the most warming is observed. “In relative terms and during the period studied, Spain had 30% of heat-related deaths attributed to human-induced climate change,” reveals study co-author and CSIC researcher, Aurelio Tobías.

Specifically, the number of deaths from heat related to climate change “is 704 per year in the summer period in the provincial capitals of Spain.” “Specific, …

This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.

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