Columbia University Researchers Find No Link between Global Warming and Winter-Deaths

Columbia University Researchers Find No Link between Global Warming and Winter-Deaths

In a new study conducted by researchers at the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, no link has been found to claim that increased global warming leads to a reduction in winter-related deaths around the world.

The study, published in the journal IOP Science, attempted to examine temperature and mortality data from 36 cities in the United States and 3 in France, for the years 1971 to 2007. They collected the required mortality data from the US National Center for Health Statistics and the French National Institute for Statistics and Economics Studies.

They found that a warmer climate has little if any correlation to weather-related deaths that occur during winter months. Majorly, out of the cities analyzed, those that experienced warm winters had similar mortality rates as those with colder winters.

The researchers opined that there were other non-temperature factors that were at play, causing an excess of deaths during winters. They attributed the increase to lethargy, lack of exercise and mobility during winter months, low humidity in the air and increased time spent indoors. This according to the researchers, led to higher incidence of flu and respiratory infections, which caused the higher mortality.

Professor Patrick Kinney, director of Columbia's Climate and Health Program, who also serves on the New York City Panel on Climate Change and was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's recent report, said, “These cities vary widely in demography, urban design, and socio-cultural background, all of which might influence exposure to outdoor temperature and related mortality risks”.

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