Friday, February 17, 2023

Where People Will Die from Global Heating

The Washington Post has visualized data from a study published in Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics to explore the likelhood of increasing numbers of deaths from heat exposure and decreasing numbers of death from cold exposure as a result of global heating. The study looked at how increased temperatures will lead in some areas to an increase in deaths from heat exposure but will also lead in some places to a decrease in deaths from cold exposure.

In the article Where More People Will Die ... and Live ... Because of Hotter Temperatures a 3D globe is used to show where in the world more people are projected to die from heat exposure due to global heating. On the globe different hues of blue are used to show the areas of the world which are predicted to see an increase in deaths in the last two decades of this century in comparison to the expected deaths without additional emissions. Green hues show where there are expected to be less deaths from cold exposure.

The Post's globe shows how climate change is likely to lead to increased deaths from heat exposure in many hotter and poorer parts of the world. At the same time colder, wealthier countries could see a decrease in deaths from cold exposure. For example Niger is expected to see the largest increase in deaths from hotter temperatures while the wealthy country of Finland is likely to see the biggest decrease in temperature related mortality. 

The Post's article includes a scatterplot which clearly shows the relationship between GDP and the likelihood of increased deaths from heat exposure. On this scatterplot GDP is shown by circle size, with the smallest circles (showing the lowest GDP) dominating the increased mortality section of the graph. 

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