The official figures reveal that about half of these deaths have been reported from France alone where temperatures soared up to 42 degree Celsius this summer – a temperature that experts say is impossible without climate breakdown
The heatwaves that gripped Europe in summer may have caused more than 20000 deaths across the western part of the continent, says a new report that has analysed the excess deaths based on historical trends.
The official figures reveal that about half of these deaths have been reported from France alone where temperatures soared up to 42 degree Celsius this summer – a temperature that experts say is impossible without climate breakdown.
The analysis has not estimated the heat-related deaths specifically. It reveals that the number of deaths was higher on average for heat-period days than non-heat-period days while excluding the deaths caused by the Covid-19.
In summers this year, the temperatures crossed 40 degree Celsius in many parts of the Europe. While the temperatures in London exceeded 40 degree Celsius, in south west France the temperatures were recorded as high as 42 degree Celsius. In the Seville and Cordoba regions of Spain the maximum temperatures in summer were recorded at 44 degree Celsius.
The data released by France’s government health agency ‘Sante Publique’ reveals that 10420 excess deaths – the difference between actual deaths and deaths expected based on historical trends – have been reported from France during the summer heatwave.
The Office of National Statistics in England has revealed that there were 3271 excess deaths in England and Wales during the summer period of June 1 and September 7, which is 6.2 percent higher than the five years average
In Spain, where the summer temperatures touched 44 degree Celsius in some parts, the state-backed Carlos III Health Institute estimates reveal that there were 4,655 deaths – between June and August – that can be attributed to the summer heatwave.
The German health agency ‘The Robert Koch Institute’ estimated that 4500 people have died in the country during the summers because of the extreme heatwave.
“Heatwaves are one of the biggest threats posed by climate change. High temperatures are responsible for thousands of deaths across the world every year, many of which go underreported,” the Guradian quoted Dr Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, as saying. “Despite this overwhelming evidence, there is still little public awareness of the dangers that extreme temperatures present to human health.”