About two months ago, a massive heat wave caused several deaths in Japan, Greece, and other countries. Egypt is also one of the countries affected by the heat wave. But people have to adapt with the heat waves, which are expected to be a usual phenomenon.
On the other side, if people cannot adapt to future climate temperatures, deaths caused by severe heat waves will increase dramatically in tropical and subtropical regions, followed closely by Australia, Europe, and the United States, according to a new study led by Monash University, Australia.
The study that was published on Tuesday in PLOS Medicine is considered the first global study to predict future heat wave-related deaths. In their research, the researchers of the study developed a model to estimate the number of deaths related to heat waves in 412 communities across 20 countries for the period of 2031-2080, to help decision makers in planning adaptation and mitigation strategies for climate change.
Findings of the study suggested a relation between heat waves and increasing deaths under different scenarios characterised by levels of greenhouse gas emissions, preparedness and adaption strategies, and population density across these regions.
Monash University said the recent media reports detailing deadly heat waves around the world highlight the importance of the heat wave study.
“Future heat waves in particular will be more frequent, more intense, and will last much longer. If we cannot find a way to mitigate the climate change (reduce the heat wave days) and help people adapt to heat waves, there will be a big increase of heat wave-related deaths in the future, particularly in the poor countries located around the equator,” said Yuming Guo, associate professor at Monash University and lead author of the study.
The study comes as many countries around the world have been affected by severe heat waves, leaving thousands dead and tens of thousands more suffering from heat stroke-related illnesses. The collective death toll across India, Greece, Japan, and Canada continues to rise as the regions swelter through record temperatures, humidity, and wildfires.