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Study: Cold 17.36 Times More Hazardous to Mankind Than Heat

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A paper in a recent edition of the Lancet attempts to determine what percentage of deaths in thirteen different countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the USA – are associated with changes in the weather.

What will perhaps be most interesting to the average reader is the disparity in the numbers of deaths caused (according to the authors’ calculations and on the assumption that the relationship is indeed a causative one) by heat and cold. The latter is by far the worse villain of the piece, accounting for 7.29 of the 7.71 percent of deaths allegedly caused by ambient temperature, that is to say 5,411,017 of the 5,722,763 deaths cause by temperature variation, leaving heat a cause of “only” 311,746 deaths. To put it another way, cold is in current circumstances 17.36 times more hazardous to mankind than heat.

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