Residents of Manhattan will not just sweat harder from rising temperatures in the future, says a new study; many may die.
Researchers at Columbia University estimate deaths linked to warming climate may rise some 20 percent by the 2020s, and, in some worst-case scenarios, 90 percent or more 70 years hence.
Higher winter temperatures may partially offset heat-related deaths by cutting cold-related mortality, but even so, scientists say annual net temperature-related deaths might go up a third.
The study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, was done by a team at the school's Earth Institute and the Mailman School of Public Health.
Studies of other cities have already projected adverse health effects from rising temperatures.
"This serves as a reminder that heat events are one of the greatest hazards faced by urban populations around the globe," said coauthor Radley Horton, a climate scientist at the Earth Institute's Center for Climate Systems Research.
The record 2010 heat wave that hit Russia, killing some 55,000 people, and the 2003 one in Europe that killed 70,000 are potent examples of the devastation that extreme heat can cause, Horton added.
Daily records from Manhattan's Central Park show that average monthly temperatures increased by 3.6º Fahrenheit from 1901 to 2000 substantially more than the global and U.S. trends. Cities tend to concentrate heat; buildings and pavement soak it up during the day and give it off at night.
This is a shorter version of a report that was originally published by The Daily Climate.
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