By Paul Homewood
Hurricane Ian left 131 people dead in its wake, but according to the BBC that was nothing compared to the death toll which resulted from a few hot days in Britain this summer!
As the UK endured record high temperatures of 40C this summer, there were around 3,000 more deaths in the over-65s than usual in England and Wales – the highest figure since 2004.
Many happened during the hottest days towards the end of July and in early August.
The data comes from a report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
Experts say it shows just how dangerous hot weather can be.
“These estimates show clearly that high temperatures can lead to premature death for those who are vulnerable,” said Isabel Oliver, chief scientific officer at the UKHSA.
“A warming climate means we must adapt to living safely with hotter summers in the future.”
There were five heat-periods between June and August 2022 – defined as days when the average temperature is greater than 20°C in central England.
During those periods, there were 3,271 excess deaths – 6.2% above the five-year average – out of a total of 56,303 deaths in England and Wales.
As you may suspect, the BBC is trying to mislead you. As the article goes on to explain, deaths quickly fell below average in the days following those hot spells, indicating that the heatwave merely triggered deaths a few days before they would have happened anyway:
In other words, they did not die of the heat, but because of dementia and other underlying conditions. No doubt, we would expect to see the same sort of daily spikes following a spell of cool, wet weather in summer.
The actual data from the ONS tells a much more nuanced story.
For a start, although the age-standardised mortality rate in August 2022 was up on the previous year, it was below that of 2016, suggesting that it was not weather related:
And when we look at excess deaths, we see that deaths have been rising above the five-year average since March, after being below during the winter. Clearly this trend is not weather-related: there are other factors at play.
This trend also shows up in the ASMRs, for instance England Males, with this summer having the highest rate since 2016. Again, there is no evidence that the rise this summer is heat-related, because the summer of 2018 was just as hot, yet had one of the lowest death rates:
And as ever, we find that, heatwave or no heatwave, seasonal death rates this year were again the lowest in the summer:
If the BBC believes that heat causes excess deaths in summer, maybe they could explain why many more people die during the pleasant weather during spring every year?
via NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
October 16, 2022