A group of researchers from the National Center for Disaster Preparedness predict deadly summers in New York and warn against the effects of climate change on human health.
Heat waves are becoming more and more frequent in the US during the last decades. The researchers say that the number of deaths could be limited if the city residents were protected from the heat and the government would fight more specifically against global warming.
Extreme heat produces heart and respiratory conditions, dehydration and exhaustion.
Scientists think that 3,331 people will die every year in New York because of heat waves. The study shows that the death trend will continue all the way to 2080.
In comparison, the number of heat deaths between 2000 and 2006 was of 600, with an average of 100 per year.
The number of hot days is expected to triple in the next 60 years. Urgent climate change action is therefore requested.
“If New York happens to experience something like this, which is more likely due to climate change, (with) more extreme heat events, the consequences can be devastating,” said Elisaveta Petkova, author of the study and project director at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
By 2080, the annual temperature in New York City is predicted to rise by 5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
The authors of the study say that most of the adverse effects could be eliminated if the greenhouse gas emissions would be kept under control. They also stress out the fact that cities and their residents must prepare and find measures to adapt to the upcoming heat waves.
Another section of the published paper has a focus on different scenarios that may influence the relationship between climate change, population growth and the quality of adaptations to the constant warming pattern.
The leading author of the study has extended experience in studying how people and cities react to changes in their environment. Previous work included projections and theoretical models on how people chose to adapt to changes, as well as the extent to which a change would have positive effects on demographics.
Among the strategies used to fight the adverse conditions of climate change, the study mentions air conditioning.
The study would be the second report published by Columbia University this week; the first being focused on the effects of air pollution on children. Both papers request immediate action in reducing carbon use.
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