Do you really think temperature fluctuations will kill you?

Apparently some researchers think fluctuations in temperatures, always warmer, will.  The don’t seem to look at colder.  From NBC News, How Climate Change Might Kill People

Temperature swings can kill, and not just with heat waves, researchers reported Monday.

In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers found that in New England, more people died in years with warmer-than-average summers, while warmer-than-usual winters reduced the numbers of deaths. But warmer winters did not quite offset warmer summers.

“A rise in summer mean temperature of 1 degree C (just under 2 degrees F) was associated with a 1 percent higher death rate, whereas an increase in winter mean temperature corresponded to a 0.6 percent decrease in mortality,” Joel Schwartz, a professor of environmental health at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and colleagues wrote.

This was a study of 3 million from the 65 and over group in New England.  I suppose that’s a great group to study because they have a habit of dying and records are available.

So, from NBC’s ace reporting, minor fluctuations in temperatures represent climate change.  Really, it seems that the average temperature in Richmond this summer is cooler and wetter than the last few.  So, should I suppose that senior citizens are living longer and there is a great global cooling on the way?  Or should I just assume that the way you get averages is some summers are warmer, drier, cooler or wetter than others?

The article looks only at warmer temperatures, both highs and lows, because we just know that climate change means warmer.  The article doesn’t mention or compare death rates to colder temperatures because this would blow the statistics.  It doesn’t pay to look at all temperatures, I suppose.

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One response to “Do you really think temperature fluctuations will kill you?

  1. Don’t know. But last week the weather forecast posted a temp map that forecast 78 degrees for our town, 80 degrees for another town 100 miles away and 780 degrees for the town in between. Sure glad we didn’t live there! 😉

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