By Paul Homewood

h/t Ian Magness

Hundreds of sudden deaths, many of them suspected of being heat-related, have been reported during Canada’s record-breaking heatwave, officials say.

Some 486 fatalities were recorded over the past five days in British Columbia alone, a 195% increase on the usual amount over that period.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has offered condolences to the victims, many of whom were elderly.

Abnormally high temperatures have been recorded across North America.

British Columbia Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe said on Wednesday: “It is believed likely that the significant increase in deaths reported is attributable to the extreme weather BC has experienced and continues to impact many parts of our province.”

She said many of those who died in the heatwave had lived alone in homes that were not ventilated.

It is sad when anybody dies, but the answer to heatwaves such as this one is to make sure that the elderly and vulnerable are properly looked after, and in particular have air conditioning available. After all, temperatures in the 90s are not unusual in places like Vancouver.

What the BBC forgot to tell you, however, is that COLD kills ten times as many people in Canada, as HEAT does:

Cold temperatures kill about 20 times as many people worldwide as hot temperatures do, say Canadian and international researchers who challenge conventional wisdom that extreme weather events cause the most deaths.

In a study published Wednesday in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers analyzed data on 74 million deaths across countries with climates ranging from cold to subtropical between 1985 and 2012.

After examining temperature, humidity and air pollution measurements, the team used a statistical model to estimate how a specific temperature contributes to mortality risk during the following days. The team then calculated how many deaths on foul-weather days exceeded what occurred during optimal temperatures for each location.

“This study indicates that cold kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, with 7.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent of the number of deaths that occurred in the 13 countries within the study period being due to cold and heat, respectively,” said lead author Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the U.K.

“These results challenge the conventional wisdom that the health effects of temperature are limited to extreme weather events,” he added in an email interview.

Overall, about 90 per cent of the deaths attributed to cold occurred on mildly cold days. Extreme temperatures accounted for less than one per cent.

The Canadian findings showed nearly 4.5 per cent of deaths in this country over the study period were due to cold compared with 0.5 per cent for heat.


July 1, 2021