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Aussie researchers blame global warming for more than a third of heat-related deaths

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-06-01 17:18

A worker adjusts a Vlies fabric to cover the snow of a glacier at Stubaier glacier ski resort near Neustift im Stubaital, Austria, May 7, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

SYDNEY - More than a third of heat-related deaths across the world can be attributed to human-induced climate change, according to an Australia-involved research published on Monday in the journal of Nature Climate Change.

The team, including researchers from Monash University and Queensland University of Technology, studied 30 million deaths, spanning almost three decades in 732 locations in 42 countries and regions. They applied the latest epidemiological and climate models to assess warm-season changes, and found out 37 percent of heat-related mortality could be attributed to climate change.

"We have demonstrated that health burdens from anthropogenic climate change are occurring, are geographically widespread and non-trivial," the research paper said.

"In many locations, the attributable mortality is already in the order of dozens to hundreds of deaths each year."

The authors found that although larger percentages of deaths due to climate change happened in warmer countries, such as southern Europe, and southern and western Asia, the increased mortality since the preindustrial period was detectable on every inhabited continent.

Yuming Guo, head of Monash University's climate, air quality research unit, noted in an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that warm-season heat-related deaths in Australia amounted to about 1.8 percent of the total, of which about one-third can be attributed to climate change and the ratio is in line with the rest of the world.

For the 1991-2018 period, there were 2,968 deaths in the three Australian cities that could be attributed to climate change, with Sydney having the highest toll of 1,484, Melbourne at 924 and Brisbane suffering 560 extra deaths, the report said.

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