Guest essay by Eric Worrall

An uncomfortable truth for climate alarmists is winter deaths, even in a warm country like Australia, far outstrip Summer deaths. Humans are tropical apes – our bodies do not cope well with cold weather.

More people die in winter than summer, but climate change may see this reverse

April 27, 2021 6.08am AEST

Ivan Charles Hanigan Data Scientist (Epidemiology), University of Sydney
Alistair Woodward Professor, School of Population Health, University of Auckland
Keith Dear Adjunct Professor of Public Health, University of Adelaide

Climate change not only poses enormous dangers to the planet, but also harms human health. In our study published today, we show some of the first evidence climate change has had observable impacts on Australians’ health between 1968 and 2018.

We found long-term heating is associated with changed seasonal balance of deaths in Australia, with relatively more deaths in summer months and relatively fewer deaths in winter months over recent decades.

We found that in 1968 there were approximately 73 deaths in summer for every 100 deaths in winter. By 2018, this had risen to roughly 83 deaths in summer for every 100 deaths in winter.

The same trend, albeit of varying strength, was evident in all states of Australia, among all age groups over 55, in females and males, and in the three broad causes of death we looked at (respiratory, heart and renal diseases).

Read more:

The abstract of the study;

Increased ratio of summer to winter deaths due to climate warming in Australia, 1968–2018

Ivan C. Hanigan Keith B.G. Dear Alistair Woodward
First published: 26 April 2021


Objective: To determine if global warming has changed the balance of summer and winter deaths in Australia.

Methods: Counts of summer and winter cause‐specific deaths of subjects aged 55 and over for the years 1968–2018 were entered into a Poisson time‐series regression. Analysis was stratified by states and territories of Australia, by sex, age and cause of death (respiratory, cardiovascular, and renal diseases). The warmest and coldest subsets of seasons were compared.

Results: Warming over 51 years was associated with a long‐term increase in the ratio of summer to winter mortality from 0.73 in the summer of 1969 to 0.83 in the summer of 2018. The increase occurred faster in years that were warmer than average.

Conclusions: Mortality in the warmest and coldest times of the year is converging as annual average temperatures rise.

Implications for public health: If climate change continues, deaths in the hottest months will come to dominate the burden of mortality in Australia.

Read more:

Delving into the study, the researchers appear to have performed a naive calculation of Summer vs Winter deaths, and concluded that since the ratio is less extreme today than it was in 1969, climate change is impacting the ratio of Summer to Winter deaths.

You don’t have to be a genius in statistics to see a problem. This would be a reasonable approach if nothing else had changed, but something important has changed since the 1960s – the quality of Australian houses.

Back in 1969, I lived, as did most Australians, in an uninsulated wooden house. Bitterly cold in winter, even with a wood or coal fire burning, blazing hot in Summer.

Nowadays many if not most Australian houses have decent insulation, either because they were constructed since 1969, or because they were retrofitted sometime in the 1970s or 1980s to make them more comfortable. Indoor temperature does not vary as much as it used to. Gas central heating and indoor toilets also became a thing in Australia in the 1970s. I remember the excitement when my family moved into a brick house with insulation and heated floor vents. I didn’t have to spend winter crammed into a small family room huddling up to the fireplace.

After the move, when someone caught the flu, they could spend time in their own room, kept warm by central heating, instead of sharing their viruses with everyone, breathing stuffy coal and tobacco smoke tainted air in the overcrowded family room.

So it should be no surprise that more desperately ill people are surviving Australia’s winters, only to finally expire in Summer. Most ill people in today’s Australia do not have to endure the same winter hardships their ancestors endured in the 1960s. This alone is likely enough to explain the smoothing of the ratio of Summer to Winter deaths.

via Watts Up With That?

April 27, 2021 at 12:39AM