June 18, 2024
Weather Conditions

New Study Reveals: More Lives Lost to Extreme Weather Conditions than COVID-19 in Certain Regions of the UK

A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications, led by the University of Bristol, has shed light on the growing public health threat posed by extreme weather conditions exacerbated by climate change in the United Kingdom.

The research uncovered that, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of deaths caused by temperature hazards surpassed the number of deaths attributable to the virus in the South West region of England.

Dr. Eunice Lo, Research Fellow in Climate Change and Health at the University’s Cabot Institute for the Environment and Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, commented, “The data we’ve gathered underscores the significant health impact of weather extremes in the UK. I had anticipated a higher mortality rate due to the record-breaking heat wave coinciding with the pandemic, but the extent of the increase is both surprising and alarming.”

The team was prompted to conduct the study following Sir Patrick Vallance’s statement at COP26 that the climate crisis posed a greater threat to life than Virtual ICU in COVID-19, which could prove more fatal without immediate action.

The study’s findings support Vallance’s assertion, as they reveal that temperature-related mortality was 8% higher than COVID-19 mortality in South West England between 2020 and 2022. In London, temperature-related deaths were only a quarter less than those from COVID-19, and in the East Midlands, they were just over half as many (58%).

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public Source, Desk Research
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