A new study (Burkart et al., 2021) reports that for every 356 deaths attributable to warm weather across the globe there were 1,337 attributable to cold weather in 2019.
The cold weather death attribution in 2019 was up from 1,021 (thousands) in 1990, a 24% increase. Warm weather deaths also rose – from 205 (thousands) in 1990 to 356 (thousands) in 2019.
Location-specific trends underscored just how much more deadly cold temperatures are.
In South Africa, for example, for every 453 heat deaths there were 8,372 cold deaths in 2019, which means cold temperatures were 18 times more deadly than warm ones at this locality.
In China, there were 32.0 deaths per 100,000 for cold but 3.25 deaths per 100,000 for heat.
Nearly 65 million people from 9 different countries were included in the study. Every single country had cold-attributable mortality exceeding heat-related mortality.