Climate change may already be costing American lives

Earth
A composite image of the Western hemisphere of the Earth. Credit: NASA

New research suggests that U.S. climate change, and the unpredictable temperature swings it can bring, may boost death rates in seniors.

"Temperature variability emerges as a key feature in the potential impacts of . The take-home message: Unusual is bad for people's health," said study author Liuhua Shi, a graduate student in the department of environmental health at Harvard's School of Public Health in Boston.

Scientists have long been debating the health effects of climate change, and the general assumption is that it will make people sicker through more extreme heat, more flooding and more polluted air.

Shi and colleagues launched their study in the New England area to better understand how weather affects . "Many studies have reported associations between short-term temperature changes and increased daily deaths," Shi said. "However, there is little evidence to date on the long-term effect of temperature."

The researchers looked at Medicare statistics regarding 2.7 million people over the age of 65 in New England from 2000 to 2008. Of those, Shi said, 30 percent died during the study.

The researchers found death rates rose when the average summer temperature rose significantly, and death rates dropped when the average winter temperature rose significantly.

The researchers believe the increased risk in the summer is due to an increase in the variability of temperatures. According to Shi, "climate change may affect mortality rates by making seasonal weather more unpredictable, creating temperature conditions significantly different to those to which people have become acclimatized."

On the other hand, warmer winter temperatures caused by climate change could actually reduce deaths, the researchers added.

The study notes that research has suggested it's more difficult for people to develop exercise endurance when they're in variable temperatures compared to consistently hot conditions. This, the researchers wrote, could explain why variable temperatures spell trouble.

The study has weaknesses. The researchers don't know what people died of, and it's impossible to predict the exact effects of climate change and global warming on the variability of temperatures.

Also, the study only found a possible association between weather and death rates, and not a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

Richard Keller, a professor of medical history and bioethics at University of Wisconsin-Madison, studies climate change's potential effects on health.

"This is clearly an important study. It is valid and useful within certain limits," said Keller, who was not involved with the study.

What's next?

"We would expect that people will respond differently to climate change in different climate zones," Shi said. "Hence, we plan to do a national study to examine the long-term effects of temperature on mortality in each climate zone."

Meanwhile, Keller said, "The big mysteries concern our adaptability to a changing climate. What kinds of solutions will humans imagine to adapt to a changing climate, and to whom will these solutions be available?"

The study appears in the July 13 issue of Nature Climate Change.


Explore further

Society has been discussing climate change's impacts long before we knew it existed

More information: Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2704
Journal information: Nature Climate Change

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Jul 13, 2015
I've got better odds surviving the +100f temps of summer in global warming than the -20f temps winter global cooling...its also more comfortable for me.

I'd rather scout the fields at 110f than anything at less than 40f.

Variable temps don't bother me....I reach equilibrium in 3 days.

Jul 13, 2015
Incredible weak arguments (if you can call it that).
Shows that culture equals science these days.
2 + 2 = 5 it must be, everyone agrees.

Jul 13, 2015
It's refreshing to see the author of the article note that the study has problems. Thank you.

The study has weaknesses. The researchers don't know what people died of, and it's impossible to predict the exact effects of climate change and global warming on the variability of temperatures.

Essentially it's a study that proves nothing but offers plenty of speculation. It would be nice to see the problems noted with more climate-related studies reported on Phys.org.

Jul 13, 2015
Don't you dare to use 'climate change'.

Climate change happens for 4.5 billion years by now. Originally the problem told by IPCC was named: 'global warming by humans'. But now they use 'climate change' to insure themselves for if it gets a lot colder, instead of warmer.

So far for science, right?

Jul 13, 2015
Oh dear god. Now it's too warm or too cold. Better outlaw heating and air conditioning then. It's man-made. "The take-home message: Unusual temperature is bad for people's health," said study author Liuhua Shi, a graduate student in the department of environmental health at Harvard's School of Public Health in Boston. What's more unusual than air conditioning? Heating?


Jul 13, 2015
And here I thought this was a science site, but every time there is a climate change article a crowd of fools gathers. Climate change is REAL, and CAUSED BY HUMANS. Despite the psychotic delusions of those who practice belief systems.

Jul 13, 2015
And who the hell measures temps in "f", whatever that is? Science passed them by, methinks.

Jul 13, 2015
Hilarious.
The US has been cooling since the 1930s.
Nice piece of propaganda...er...excuse me..AGW Cult "science", though.

Jul 13, 2015
Variations in weather have been killing humans since humans existed. Especially the old and the weak. The authors of this study show a huge blind spot regarding the literature about climate causing deaths, or else have an agenda (or maybe both).

Jul 13, 2015
In other news, humans have a limited lifespan! The HORROR!!!

Jul 14, 2015
"Unusual temperature is bad for people's health," said study author Liuhua Shi.

Climate change leads to policies which hamper economic development, such as restricting fracking in the rural US, power generation in developing countries, international trade, etc. The resulting poverty affects people's ability to afford proper nutrition, healthcare, climate controlled living conditions... which is bad for people's health. It's at least as good a spin as "unusual temperature is bad for people's health". Or maybe we just have every old or chronically ill person in the world move to coastal California.

Jul 14, 2015
This is not science.

Jul 14, 2015
The professional swindler Mark Goldes swindles the readers of Huffington Post and other sites by making use of false and fraudulent pretenses to obtain loans from them, which he never repays.

https://fraudcraf...stitute/

Posted to the following HuffPost article by Kate Sheppard you can find yet another of Mark Goldes' latest efforts to swindle the readers of Huffington Post, by way of yet another false and fraudulent spam comment advertising his fraudulent so-called "AESOP Institute:"

http://www.huffin...274.html

WHY does Huffington Post continue to help the professional swindler Mark Goldes to swindle THEIR OWN READERS, by posting his countless spam comments advertising his fraudulent sham "AESOP Institute?"

Jul 14, 2015
Hilarious.
The US has been cooling since the 1930s.
Nice piece of propaganda...er...excuse me..AGW Cult "science", though.


Repeating a lie hundreds of times doens't make it true. Even most of your fellow AGW-negationists know that what you're saying is complete and utter BS that you pull straight from your ass.

Jul 14, 2015
Excellent quote from a blog I read:

Then there is a fact that, in my opinion, doesn't get enough emphasis in these debates: in the course of preparing its most recent report, AR5, the IPCC slashed its estimate of future global warming by almost 50 percent. And this was at the end of 2013! How can the science be settled, when it isn't even settled within the IPCC, a political body that was established by the U.N. to promote global warming alarmism?

-- John Hinderaker of PowerLine

Jul 14, 2015
"Variations in weather have been killing humans since humans existed."
---------------------------------

Diseases "have been killing humans since humans existed."

Do we stop fighting disease?

Did you tell your kids to just give up?

Jul 14, 2015
Hilarious.
The US has been cooling since the 1930s.
Nice piece of propaganda...er...excuse me..AGW Cult "science", though.


Repeating a lie hundreds of times doens't make it true. Even most of your fellow AGW-negationists know that what you're saying is complete and utter BS that you pull straight from your ass.

My ass is smarter and more honest than your dumb mug. Here yer go.
http://www.giss.n...nsen_07/

Jul 14, 2015
It matters not what goricle tries to say, it is obvious by his moniker he is motivated by pure political prejudice.

No science need be used.

Jul 14, 2015
No science need be used.

How about a brain?
Perhaps you can grow one and use it.

Jul 14, 2015
Gorical isn't smart enough to deliberately link to a graph of U.S. temps that stops at the year 2000 but he is devious enough.
https://uddebatt....013a.jpg

Jul 14, 2015
Vietvet definitely isn't smart enough to question, why the US cooled while the rest of the globe warmed and then suddenly switched gears and warmed when the rest of the globe cooled.

Jul 14, 2015
Goricle is in the wrong forum.

FreeRepublic and StormFront are on other sites.

Jul 14, 2015
Vietvet definitely isn't smart enough to question, why the US cooled while the rest of the globe warmed and then suddenly switched gears and warmed when the rest of the globe cooled.


The rest of the "globe" didn't cool.

http://econews.co...raph.png

Jul 14, 2015
Probably the "filthy" fossil fuels are responsible for more births than deaths through tractors and agricultural machineries much more efficient than medieval "windmills".
"Agriculture has been the main factor behind human population growth. This dates back to prehistoric times, when agricultural methods were first developed, and continues to the present day, with fertilizers, agrochemicals, large-scale mechanization, genetic manipulation, and other technologies."
http://en.wikiped...iculture
http://en.wikiped...industry


Jul 14, 2015
Uh oh

"Is a mini ICE AGE on the way? Scientists warn the sun will 'go to sleep' in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet
New study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles
Says that between 2030 and 2040 solar cycles will cancel each other out
Could lead to 'Maunder minimum' effect that saw River Thames freeze over
By MARK PRIGG FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 12:40 EST, 10 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:42 EST, 10 July 2015"

-Quick! Better burn more oil!

Jul 14, 2015
Why are AGW alarmists so concerned about a few degrees maximum change potentially endangering lives, when other, more serious man-made causes of death and mayhem continue to go unchecked.

Murder
Alcoholism related diseases and accidents (30k per year, 10k deaths per year in the US alone)
Cigarette and other tobacco related diseases*
Illegal drug related diseases

* The government continues an immoral "Sin Tax" policy by taxing the cigarette sells of the current generation to help fund the medical bills of the previous generation of smokers. This is an evil policy and should be discontinued with a full ban on Cigarettes. The Surgeon General's Warning has existed since before I was born. The older smokers made their INFORMED decision to give themselves cancer, and they should pay their own bills.

Jul 14, 2015
AGW alarmists "Strain at a gnat and swallow a camel".

If you people were genuinely concerned about human life and infrastructure, you would spend more time opposing the substances I mentioned, and more time developing a punitive criminal justice system to eliminate, rather than incarcerate, rapists and murderers.

1 in 6 women in the United states between the age of 18 and 45 claim to have been forcibly raped at least one time in their lives (when poled anonymously).

This is unacceptable. If you people cared about human life and dignity one shred as much as you claim to be concerned, you would never stand for this ATTROCITY being committed in a nation which likes to claim that it has the moral high-ground of the world, all in the name of "democracy".

Our police need better technology, and laws allowing them to track, apprehend, and provide evidence of these evil offender's deeds. Our courts need a jury system where qualified jury members and qualified judges can...cont

Jul 14, 2015
...can make qualified, informed decisions about guilt and innocence.

Presently, we have the unqualified "jury of your peers" system, which produces incompetent results such as obviously guilty murderers like O.J. Simpson, and I forget her name, that bitch that, chloroform drugged or drowned her daughter and threw her in the woods....they got away with it, and everyone knows they didd it. The fucking unqualified jury said, "It's not our place to judge her!"

What the hell? They are the fucking jury! If it's not their place to judge the criminal, then what the fuck is the point in a trial?

We can no longer have this idiocy in a modern civilization, where a jury isn't even informed and qualified to know what their ROLE is in a capital criminal trial.

Why don't you AGW fear mongers raise as much hell about this sort of evil and death and injustice as you do about a few weather disasters (which aren't even notable historically)?

Jul 14, 2015
The TRUTH about weather disasters:

Read and weep:

http://www.wunder...orld.asp

Most of these happened before a signficant portion of the man-made CO2 was produced. The death tolls on some of these storms, particularly a few very old ones, is absolutely mind-blowing. They literally destroyed entire civilizations.

http://www.ranker...d?page=2

Again, most of this happened during time periods where very little of man-made CO2 had yet been made.

In fact, it is thanks to modern technology, often driven by CO2 producing machines, that famines don't happen as often or as wide-spread as they did during ancient times and the pre-industrial times.

Thank God for electric water pumps, and internal combustion engines to drive machines to drill through rock or transport piping hundreds of miles, so that we can carry water around and prevent most droughts and famines from getting out of hand.

Jul 14, 2015
In modern times it is only in the most remote locations, or in 3rd world countries where famines get out of hand, because they don't have a significant water infrastructure, and don't have a significant energy infrastructure.

There was a drought in the mid-1980's in the U.S. which is credited with about 8000 to 10,000 deaths. If true, this is about as much, or more, than the Great Galveston hurricane, and again it happened before most of the Man-made CO2 was produced.

Quit blaming the world's weather problems on CO2; This lie is getting really, really old.

Jul 14, 2015
Excellent quote from a blog I read:

Then there is a fact that, in my opinion, doesn't get enough emphasis in these debates: in the course of preparing its most recent report, AR5, the IPCC slashed its estimate of future global warming by almost 50 percent.


This would appear to be a made up "fact". The best estimate for TCR in AR4 was 3 and it dropped to, I believe, 2.5 in AR5. I'm guessing John Hinderaker isn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but I bet even he can see that 1/2 of 3 is not 2.5.

By the way, I think there's sufficient evidence to show that the best estimate for TCR is 3, and that the 2.5 value will be short lived.

Jul 15, 2015
Uh oh "Is a mini ICE AGE on the way? Scientists warn the sun will 'go to sleep' in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet...................
-Quick! Better burn more oil!

No:
"A study carried out on computer models at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter calculated that a forthcoming grand solar minimum would cause global average temperatures to fall by about 0.1C. This compares to an expected increase of several degrees due to global warming if industrial emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise at the present rate.
However, the regional impacts of a grand solar minimum on northern Europe and North America could be significantly greater, with temperatures falling on average by between about minus 0.4C and minus 0.8C, said Sarah Ineson, a Met Office researcher and lead author of the study published in the journal Nature Communications."
http://www.report...ate.html

Jul 15, 2015
What do you libtards have against people earning a living? I make $500 a month just being sceptical. That's good for science, good for my bottom line and if you don't like it, complain to the pimps, not the chickens or the johns. Have you looked at how many tracking cookies and browser exploits this site uses? Then don't whine about the paid content! There's a lot of money in it. Don't like it? Stop making people over 45 unemployable for a start. Fucking libtards. http://www.thegua...awmakers

Jul 15, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Jul 15, 2015
Just incredible how left, right, and center, tinfoil jobs to Ph.D's, all chant in unison "I'm OK, you're a damnable piece of sh*t!". "I have a good reason for what I do and say; you're a walking piece of crap and are the whole problem. Be more like me or STFU and get lost".

Skeptics? Progressives? Show me ONE person that hadn't decided based on ego identity and group (read: gang) affiliation what their stance would be before seeing the data. The data is just something you cherry pick as you work backwards to justify your a priori position.

999 in 1,000 act that way. And why would the 1 in 1,000 post HERE?!?

Jul 15, 2015
Well, well, well, people seem to be dying regardless, climate change or not.

Jul 16, 2015
What do you libtards have against people earning a living? I make $500 a month just being sceptical. That's good for science, good for my bottom line and if you don't like it, complain to the pimps, not the chickens or the johns. Have you looked at how many tracking cookies and browser exploits this site uses? Then don't whine about the paid content! There's a lot of money in it. Don't like it? Stop making people over 45 unemployable for a start. Fucking libtards. http://www.thegua...awmakers


Don't know where this non-sequitur bullshit is coming from, but here's a nice little fact for you: thanks to our CONSERVATIVE governments in The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, it's YOUNG PEOPLE who can't get jobs because people over 60 have to keep working full-time. We have an almost 7% unemployment rate, but in the <30 category, that goes up to nearly 20%!

Thank you, conservatives!

Jul 16, 2015
"Thank you, conservatives!"
-------------------------------------

While you're at it, ask them if they are ready to PAY for their Bush Wars of Mass Killing and Corporate Profit.

Jul 16, 2015
Man, you would thing all the reich wingnuts lost an argument so they have to scream louder to be heard. Check out this bozo's comment;
Why are AGW alarmists so concerned about a few degrees maximum change potentially endangering lives, when other, more serious man-made causes of death and mayhem continue to go unchecked
. The man needs a logic check. The AGW is global in it's impact, effecting not just people, but all life on the planet. It's also exponential in that as it gets hotter more feed backs are released (like methane).

In other words, as the temperature rises, the misery level of the general human condition increases. If you don't understand that, then you don't understand the motivation that drives mankind. Second, there is the stewardship of the planet the humans need to improve. Both are motives to think about.


Jul 17, 2015
"Thank you, conservatives!"
-------------------------------------

While you're at it, ask them if they are ready to PAY for their Bush Wars of Mass Killing and Corporate Profit.


@gham

Your screed is getting very old, particularly since it isn't accurate. In a Gallop poll taken in April of this year 56% of conservative Republicans agreed global warming would happen in their lifetime or would affect future generation. 40% percent said it would never happen.

You paint with too broad a brush.

http://www.gallup...gn=tiles

Jul 17, 2015
Vietvet definitely isn't smart enough to question, why the US cooled while the rest of the globe warmed and then suddenly switched gears ...
@antiG
1- only part of the US was cool, and it was also predicted by Francis, Vavrus et al
that was also explained to you...

2- and apparently you aren't smart enough to tell the difference between climate and weather, either, even though runrig, thermo and a dozen more people explained it to you

3- climate really can affect weather, you know. see reference above: Francis has two studies that are extremely relevant, BTW... and i've linked them to you before, many times

.

Have you looked at how many tracking cookies and browser exploits this site uses? Then don't whine about the paid content! There's a lot of money in it. Don't like it? Stop making...
@jljenkins
WTF?


Jul 17, 2015
Stunted, why do open your mouth just to confirm your stupidity.
Go tell these people they don't know the difference between climate and weather.
http://www.giss.n...nsen_07/

Jul 17, 2015
The man needs a logic check. The AGW is global in it's impact, effecting not just people, but all life on the planet. It's also exponential in that as it gets hotter more feed backs are released (like methane).

To put more pof a point to it: What good is it to reduce car accidents when we have here a situation that could very well culminate in the extinction of humanity if left unchecked? Or does anyone think humans are extinction-proof? That we somehow don't depend on a functioning ecosystem?

Jul 17, 2015
Stunted, why do open your mouth just to confirm your stupidity.
Go tell these people they don't know the difference between climate and weather.
http://www.giss.n...nsen_07/
@antiG
1- you do realize that the article you posted was from 1999, right?
Science Briefs
Whither U.S. Climate?
By James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Jay Glascoe and Makiko Sato — August 1999
how is this relevant today almost 16 years later, given the massive influx of knowledge we have (INCLUDING the studies by Francis et al i've mentioned above?)

2- you really should learn to read before you post a link here: especially dates

3- those "people" you want me to go tell are some of the ones who pushed Francis study

4- do you always assume everything ever posted on the internet was posted today?

epic failure, little trolling spammer

Jul 18, 2015
howhot:

Human beings are thriving excellently in the middle of the warmest period in quite a long time really, 1000 years or so.

A few centuries ago though, people starved in famines caused by cold weather. In fact, historically the worst famines have been caused by global cooling events, rather than global warming events.

Thanks largely to carbon dioxide producing machines, average human life span has doubled, and world population has increased by a factor of about 15.

Jul 18, 2015
The man needs a logic check. The AGW is global in it's impact, effecting not just people, but all life on the planet. It's also exponential in that as it gets hotter more feed backs are released (like methane).

To put more pof a point to it: What good is it to reduce car accidents when we have here a situation that could very well culminate in the extinction of humanity if left unchecked? Or does anyone think humans are extinction-proof? That we somehow don't depend on a functioning ecosystem?


If there were fewer alcohol related car accidents, there would be less energy wasted on making replacement cars, and therefore less pollution.

I only mentioned alcohol related deaths involving car accidents. That doesn't count alcohol related assaults and other crimes and stupidity.

Also, fermentation produces CO2, so there's another environmental reason to ban alcohol production.

Jul 18, 2015
Republican Party "Free Market" argument:

"Let the market decide..."

Oh really?

So as long as there are people either stupid enough to buy something, or else evil enough to buy something, no matter how much it ultimately hurts other people, we should just let them do it, just because our stupid leaders back a so-called "free market"?

The United States has got to be one of the most insane and self-detrimental civilizations in world history.

Jul 19, 2015
the absence of clear climate change in the United States
-- Hansen; the Father of GloBULL Warming.
Stunty, there you go again, the very epitome of stupid, not able to take a hint.
So, until 1999, when that article was published, there was CLEAR ABSENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE US, while there was GloBULL warming and which subsequently went into hiatus. So tell me, what evidence of climate change has appeared since 1999?

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