Cold better for Survival Than Heat in Australia, Says New Research on Climate Change

Climate Change
Climate Change

The impact of climate change on human bodies, are being meticulously studied and now a new research by the University of Technology Sydney, has found that people are likely to die of heat than cold.

Around 2% of all deaths in Australia are related to heat. The research was published in the journal Climate Change. Warmer regions of Australia are stamped with close to 9% of deaths related to heat. In comparison, colder climate causes lesser deaths, -0.4%, across Australia and 3.6% in the colder regions of the country.

“Accurately measuring temperature-related mortality is an important step towards understanding the impacts of climate change, particularly across different climate zones,” says study author Dr Thomas Longden, from the UTS Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation.

This was a pioneering study that understood that examined the cause of death due to heat and cold using national mortality data. The research also assessed temperature-related deaths across six climate zones. The highest proportion of death share due to heat at 9.1%, was found in Brisbane, Coffs Harbour and the Gold Coast. On the other hand, Tasmania and the NSW and Victorian alpine regions, saw 3.6% of deaths attributed to cold temperatures and a 3.3% reduction in deaths during warmer months.

In Australia, as a whole, cold was found more favorable to human life. It was found that during colder days in the identified warm regions, the death toll due to temperature reduced considerably.

“Whether an increase in heat-related mortality is offset by a reduction in cold-related mortality is crucial to finding a net benefit or cost from climate change when using temperature-mortality relationships. The main differences between the earlier studies and this one is the use of a national mortality data set, which allows for the analysis of differences between climate zones, and the reference temperature used to measure the relative risk of mortality,” says Dr Longden.