In the NewsWashington PostFebruary 16, 2023

Will global warming make temperature less deadly?

In a groundbreaking peer-reviewed study, a team of researchers from the Climate Impact Lab projected how mortality from temperature would change in the future. The worldwide temperature-linked mortality rate is projected to stay about the same, but you can see enormous geographic variation: colder, wealthier countries do well, while hotter, poorer countries suffer. The study’s method works like this: Imagine a future where the climate stayed as it was in 2015, and compare it to scenarios in which humans keep emitting greenhouse gases. The researchers used two emissions scenarios, one with very high emissions, which has academic interest but is unlikely to actually happen, and a medium emissions scenario, which climate scientists tell me is more likely, if a touch optimistic. In the medium emissions scenario, Niger, one of the poorest and hottest countries in the world, is projected to suffer the largest increase in temperature-linked mortality, while cold, wealthy Finland sees the largest decrease. That pattern was common, said Michael Greenstone, a University of Chicago economist who co-authored the study.