Adhering to Paris Agreement climate goal could significantly decrease heat-related summer deaths
New research from a collaboration between CPDN, the University of Bristol and UK health professionals has produced compelling evidence that loss of life through increased heat stress during heatwaves can be limited if we stabilise climate at the lower of the Paris Agreement climate goals.
The paper, recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change, demonstrates that, all else being equal, mortality due to high temperatures could be significantly reduced (15-22 per cent per summer) in London and Paris if we stabilise climate at the lower of the Paris Climate Goals, 1.5°C, as compared with the higher temperature goal.
In London, currently around 10 per cent of summers are free of any heat-related mortality, but this research has shown that under potential future climate change virtually all summers will have some heat-related mortality.
Researchers from Bristol who lead the HAPPI project (Half a degree Additional warming, Prognosis and Projected Impacts Model Intercomparison Project) simulated future climate under climate goals consistent with the 1.5°C and 2°C global warming Paris Agreement climate goals. The project utilised researchers and citizen scientists from around the world to help run the experiments, via the climateprediction.net project.
Dr Dann Mitchell, lead author of the study, and a lecturer in climate physics at the University of Bristol, said “Our results show a clear increase in heat-related mortality which can be avoided by adhering to the Paris Agreement goals.
“Together with the recent publication of a wealth of evidence presented for climate drivers of other impact sectors (such as the crop sector), it is becoming increasingly clear as to how crucial these climate goals are.
Dr Luke Harrington, a co-author from Oxford’s CPDN team adds, “This research, made possible by CPDN volunteers, helps cities to understand the magnitude of potential health impacts from extreme heat in the future. Decision makers can then plan suitable adaptation strategies to minimise them.”
‘Extreme heat-related mortality avoided under Paris Agreement goals’ by D. Mitchell, C. Heaviside, N. Schaller, M. Allen, K. Ebi, E. Fischer, A. Gasparrini, L. Harrington, V. Kharin, H. Shiogama, J. Sillmann, S. Sippel and S. Vardoulakis in Nature Climate Change.
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