Scientists have discovered that there are two means of avoiding climate change-related deaths due to overheating.
If current trends continue, by the time the next century arrives, 3,331 people will die annually in New York City alone due to being exposed to sweltering temperatures during the summer months.
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This guesstimate is based on a novel model. The future demographics, greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and human ingenuity in beating the heat come into play here. Air conditioning and ways of cooling off during the sultry summer are not enough.
The study was published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Over 1,779 annual heat-related deaths could be avoided if two greenhouse trajectories known as representation concentration pathways 4.5 and 8.5 are followed.
Even higher coping skills may lead to a further 1,198 lives being saved in the end. As climage change gets more and more erratic with the passage of time, people are beginning to feel its effects.
A greater number of people will be dying due to the extremes of temperature generated by climate change. One means of avoiding this fate is to release less and less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Also by lending people coping skills, the heat can indeed be beaten.
The model may be of great interest for policymakers and those concerned with climate change. After all, prevention is better than cure. The time between now and the next century is crucial.
We have to act. It is now or never. Temperatures, population patterns and mortality rates have been calculated for New York City. Thus climate change models for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s have been made.
In the previous century, before the 1950s, climate change remained constant. It decreased between 1970 and 2000. This was due to air conditioning.
Air conditioning is a feature that is a part and parcel of New York City. The Big Apple boasts a resilience as far as the ability of its inhabitants to adapt to changing temperatures is concerned. Reflective roofs and the planting of trees are other means of reducing high temperatures during the summer season.
Also cooling centers are opening up here, there and everywhere. Besides these measures, health status and economic well-being count in the mix. Demographics also play a vital role in the climate change equation.
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The number of hot days will more than triple by the time the year 2080 arrives. So it is about time that New Yorkers and the rest of the world took climate change seriously and took steps to counter its deleterious effects.