Cold Weather Kills More Than Flu

UPDATE: A rebuttal of a major point in the Lancet&UCL “Managing the health effects of climate change” report will be published in this blog by tomorrow

I have already blogged about an article on the BMJ (2000;321:670-673) showing that across Europe, “all regions [show] more annual cold related mortality than heat related mortality“: i.e. cooling kills more than warming.

But there’s more…again from the BMJ (2002;324:89-90):

[In South East England], of 1265 annual excess winter deaths per million over the past 10 years, 2.4% were due to influenza either directly or indirectly

In other words, up to 97.6% of winter deaths could be avoided were the climate warmer. The authors go as far as to suggest that

measures to reduce cold stress offer the greatest opportunities to reduce current levels of winter mortality

Wouldn’t that be a good idea as a goal for geoengineering?