Heat can influence various reactions of the human organism, having a direct effect on people with respiratory illnesses. Moreover, depending on the context, lethal events such as a stroke or heart attack are also considered to be heat-related deaths.
Even though people tend to become increasingly resistant to heat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are still highly vulnerable groups that should avoid extreme temperatures.
Children and elders above the age of 65 should not walk outside during the summer without proper clothing and sunscreen. Also, the risks for senior citizens are even higher as they are more likely to suffer from heart diseases, which are very responsive to changes in temperature. The symptoms of heat-related illnesses include excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
With global warming becoming an increasingly severe issue, numerous studies focused on developing predictions of future heat-related deaths. Recently, researchers at Columbia University carried out a new analysis around this topic. Unlike previous studies, their model is different in the sense that it takes into account more circumstances that can contribute or influence the results of the investigation.
The model these experts have developed includes assumptions of heat adaptation that take into consideration mortality data spanning over 80 years. Also, the demographic evolution of the city was never considered in previous studies.
Moreover, their adaptation model included the analysis of various long-term tendencies in the people`s reaction to extremely high temperatures. Also, the assumptions this paper makes about future heat-related deaths took into consideration any potential adaptation of the population to heat.
According to this comprehensive study, more than 1000 deaths per year can be avoided if drastic measures are taken as soon as possible. The models they developed predict an increase in temperature with 8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2080. Also, according to the data published in this research, the chances to have days with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit will triple.
One factor that can reduce the mortality rate is air conditioning. However, researchers go beyond this point, trying to convince the public opinion and the authorities to implement long-term measures to combat global warming and its effects on the public health. One of the significant changes that can be applied refers to the intensification of tree planting.
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