May 19, 2013

Projections of seasonal patterns in temperature- related deaths for Manhattan, New York

Tiantian Li, Radley M. Horton, Patrick L. Kinney
Nature Climate Change
  • States that daily death counts in cities increase markedly when temperatures reach levels that are very high relative to what is normal in a given location
  • States that relatively cold temperatures also seem to carry risk
  • States net temperature-related mortality reamins uncertain as rising temperatures may result in more heat-related mortality but may also reduce cold-related mortality
  • Uses 16 downscaled global climate models and two emissions scenarios to estimate present and future seasonal patterns in temperature-related mortality in Manhattan, New York
  • Finds that all 32 projections yielded warm-season increases and cold-season decreases in temperature-related mortality, with positive net annual temperature-related deaths in all cases
  • Monthly analyses show that the largest percentage increases may occur in May and September
  • Results suggest that, over a range of models and scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions, increases in heat-related mortality could outweigh reductions in cold-related mortality, with shifting seasonal patterns