By 2100, heat waves could kill 90,000 Europeans a year

It is the biggest climate-related health threat. The European Environment Agency (EEA) warned on Wednesday that 90,000 Europeans could die from heat waves every year by the end of the century “under a 3°C global warming scenario by 2100” if nothing is done to stop it. . Under the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C warming target, this number is reduced to 30,000 deaths per year, he underlines, based on a study published in 2020.

Between 1980 and 2020, around 129,000 Europeans died from heat, according to statistics, with a strong acceleration in the recent period.

A combination of frequent heat waves, an aging population and increased urbanization makes Europeans more vulnerable to high temperatures, particularly in the south of the continent, the European Institute pointed out.

read more: Geneva relies on its lake to tackle global warming

Origin and spread of infectious diseases

On Monday, the European Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that at least 15,000 deaths in Europe in the summer of 2022 were directly linked to extreme heat waves. In addition to repeated heat waves, climate change is increasingly affecting the region. Origin and spread of infectious diseases.

The EEA notes that certain types of mosquitoes, which transmit malaria and dengue fever, remain longer in Europe. An increase in temperature favors the proliferation of bacteria in the water, especially the Baltic Sea Vibrio bacteria, best known for cholera.

Further: “Climate change will have a strong impact on water availability in Switzerland”

Prevention and surveillance measures should make it possible to reduce these morbid health consequences. The report estimates that the majority of heat-related deaths are preventable in Europe, including “effective heat action programmes, greening cities, designing and constructing appropriate buildings and modifying working hours and working conditions”.

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