Thousands could perish annually in US if global heating not curbed, study finds

(The Guardian, 4 Jun 2019) Every year nearly 5,800 people are expected to die in New York, 2,500 in Los Angeles and more than 2,300 in Miami.

Thousands of heat-related deaths in major US cities could be avoided if rising global temperatures are curbed, new research has found.

On current global heating trends, thousands of people are set to perish due to the heat every year across 15 major US cities, in an analysis by a team of British and American researchers.

Once the average worldwide temperature rises to 3C (5.4F) above the pre-industrial period nearly 5,800 people are expected to die each year in New York City due to the heat, more than 2,500 are forecast to die annually in Los Angeles and more than 2,300 lives will be lost annually in Miami.

This dire scenario would probably be avoided if the world was able to keep to its commitments made in the Paris climate agreement, where governments pledged to limit the global temperature rise to 2C, with an aspiration to keep the increase to 1.5C.

If global heating was limited to 1.5C, a total of 2,716 lives would be saved each year from heat mortality in New York City, the researchers found. Thousands of lives across other US cities would also be saved, right down to San Francisco, where 114 people a year would avoid dying due to the the heat, compared to a 3C world.

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The Guardian, 4 Jun 2019: Thousands could perish annually in US if global heating not curbed, study finds