A new report reveals that more than 20,000 deaths were reported in France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom during this summer’s heatwave. The excess deaths are higher than would be expected under “normal” conditions based on historical data and all causes.
According to the British Daily Mail, it was Europe’s hottest summer in recorded history, with heat waves and prolonged drought 0.7 degrees Fahrenheit (0.4 degrees Celsius) above the previous high.
For the first time the UK experienced temperatures above 104°F (40°C), a huge improvement from the previous record of 101.7°F (38.7°C) set in 2019.
In England and Wales alone, 3,271 overdose deaths were reported between June 1 and September 7, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Although these deaths were not specifically heat-related, they were 6.2% higher than the five-year average and were recorded on the hottest days.
Dr Eunice Law, a climatologist at the University of Bristol, said an average of 2,000 extra deaths in the UK each year were linked to heatwaves.
He explained: “Heatwaves are becoming more frequent and more intense as the world warms, so we can expect more heatwaves in the future.
Scientists have linked many past heat waves to human-caused climate change, meaning that the observed heat waves are more likely to occur or intensify because of human emissions of greenhouse gases.
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