By Justin Worland
In recent decades, tens of thousands of people around the globe have died as the result of extreme heat, and yet the phenomenon of deadly heat would be easy to miss. That may not be true much longer.
A new analysis published this week by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that, if left unchecked, climate change could drive temperatures up to the point where they would lead to 85 deaths per 100,000 people globally per year by the end of the century. That’s more than are currently killed by all infectious diseases across the globe.
“We’re doing a lot of things around the world that are improving healthcare rapidly,” says Solomon Hsiang, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and one of the authors of the new paper. “Climate change would be a giant step backwards on that progress.”