Several reports have been published in recent years on how global warming leads to more diseases and deaths. But with the Spanish example, researchers showed that so-called temperature-related mortality has actually fallen over the last forty years.
Fewer deaths from extreme heat
A recent study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) found that actual temperature-related mortality rates in Spain have declined over the past four decades. The results have been published in the English-language journal The Lancet Planetary Health.
Global climate change causes temperatures in many parts of the world to rise. But does the noticeable heat also mean that more and more people have to give up their lives because of the consequences of the heat? Scientists have tackled the problem by examining the Spanish citizens' vulnerability to hot and cold temperatures associated with global warming. For the research, temperatures and deaths related to cardiovascular disease were analyzed between 1
Cardiovascular deaths are in decline
The result shows that temperature-related deaths from cardiovascular disease between 2002 and 2016 are more pronounced than those observed in cardiovascular disease between 1980 and 1994 decreased by 38.2 percent. An analysis of data over 15 years showed that the temperature-related cardiovascular mortality rate was over 17 percent lower every decade. Between 2002 and 2016, it was immensely reduced. Compared with the years between 1980 and 1994, the death rate from heat-related cardiovascular diseases decreased by more than 42 percent and in women by more than 36 percent. However, the deaths due to colds also decreased in women by 30 percent and in men by 45 percent.
The differences between the sexes were thus significant. Heat-related mortality was always much higher for women than for men who were more sensitive to cold. But for people of old age the risk of death from heat has generally increased sharply.
Temperature increase over the last forty years
Researchers have found that the average temperature has risen by almost 1 degree Celsius over the past four decades is. The trend is towards fewer days with moderate or intense cold – but there are several days with very high temperatures. In addition, the Spanish people have become accustomed to both cold and heat in recent decades, reducing the number of deaths. This is probably due to socio-economic development and structural improvements. Housing and health care systems have changed positively over the past forty years.
Adaptability could reach its limit
Although the Spaniards have shown great adaptability, it does not mean that it will go so easily. It was not a method to contain the consequences of global warming – which means that it is quite possible that this adaptation response is limited. As the temperature continues to rise, it is possible that this adjustment cannot be maintained. Thus, the ever-faster progress in climate change can become a problem for the human body.