Cold Weather Kills More People than Hot Weather

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Some Skeptics say that there are more cold-related deaths than those who die of heat-related causes. This is supposed to mean that a hotter climate is preferable to a colder one.

Regardless of whether an individual prefers warmer weather rather than cold, there is a limit as to how warm it could get without affecting us adversely. More important than physical warmth for the individual is the total effect that warmer climate will bring throughout the earth. Skeptics don’t acknowledge the impact on people from droughts and floods.

Direct heat deaths killed anywhere from 35,000 to 70,000 in Europe in 2003. While some may quibble over the exact cause of the heat or drought, saying that it was not global warming but ‘natural’ causes, the point is that ever-increasing temperatures due to carbon dioxide emissions will give us more of these droughts and floods, as well as direct heat related-deaths.

Below, is a chart from the National Weather Service showing the numbers of weather-related deaths in the United States (Being in the U.S. it does not include the deaths in Europe during 2003).

The 30 year average, from 1989-2019 (yellow bar), shows winter and cold deaths combined at 62. Direct heat deaths averaged 138.

Cold Weather Kills More People than Hot Weather

The U.S. Natural Hazard Statistics weather-related fatalities, courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.