Updated projections of UK heat-related mortality using policy-relevant global warming levels and socio-economic scenarios

Jenkins, Katie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6740-5139, Kennedy-Asser, Alan, Andrews, Oliver and Lo, Y. T. Eunice (2022) Updated projections of UK heat-related mortality using policy-relevant global warming levels and socio-economic scenarios. Environmental Research Letters, 17 (11). ISSN 1748-9326

[thumbnail of Jenkins+et+al_2022_Environ._Res._Lett._10.1088_1748-9326_ac9cf3]
PDF (Jenkins+et+al_2022_Environ._Res._Lett._10.1088_1748-9326_ac9cf3) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (918kB) | Preview


High temperatures and heatwaves are associated with significant impacts on human health. With continued global temperature increases, extreme thresholds relevant to health will be exceeded more frequently. This study provides an updated spatial analysis of heat-related mortality for the UK, using the UK Climate Projections (UKCP18) at 1.5 to 4°C global warming levels, and embedding population and demographic data from the recently released UK Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (UK-SSPs). Climate change will lead to an increase in heat-related mortality in the future, exacerbated by increased exposure due to increasing population. We find an increase from ~1,400 average annual deaths in the near-past (1990-2019) (95% CI: 1299 to 1486), to ~2,500 (2304 to 2794), ~3,700 (3280 to 4214), ~8,200 (7376 to 9072) and >18,000 (16,690 to 20,394) average annual deaths at 1.5, 2, 3 and 4°C respectively (assuming no adaptation). This is considered a high-end estimate due to the assumption of high population growth (UK-SSP5). Older populations are shown to be most vulnerable. A large proportion of heat-related deaths (76% (74 to 79%) with 1.5°C global warming) are attributed to more moderate (1-5°C) increases above regional temperature thresholds as opposed to extremes. Our results provide a timely update that can serve as a first step to supporting future UK climate policy and risk assessments. Future research considering nonlinearity in the health response to heat exposure is vital.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgments: K J, A K-A and O A acknowledge support from UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund UK Climate Resilience programme project OpenCLIM (Open CLimate Impacts Modelling framework, NE/T013931/1). Data availability statement: The data that underpin this study are cited in the references and supplementary information. This data is freely available online: UKCP18 Regional Projections on a 12 km grid over the UK for 1980-2080: https://catalogue.ceda.acuk/uuid/589211abeb844070a95d061c8cc7f604; HadUK-Grid gridded and regional average climate observations for the UK: http://catalogue.ceda.acuk/uuid/4dc8450d889a491ebb20e724debe2dfb; UK-SSPs: www.ukclimateresilience.org/products-of-the-uk-ssps-project/; UK gridded population based on Census 2011 and Land Cover Map 2007: https://doi.org/10.5285/61f10c74-8c2c-4637-a274-5fa9b2e5ce44; UK Population, 2011 census: www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/2011censuspopulationandhouseholdestimatesfortheunitedkingdom; Mortality statistics (England and Wales): www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcomms.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsregisteredbyareaofusualresidenceenglandandwales; Mortality statistics (Scotland): www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/deaths/deaths-time-series-data; Mortality statistics (Norther Ireland): www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/death-statistics and www.nisra.gov.uk/publications/death-statistics. The data that support the findings of this study are openly available at the following URL/DOI: https://osf.io/eyf3b/?view_only=32057e9182654b63b05f1a58fc5fbf6b.
Uncontrolled Keywords: heat,mortality,climate change,sdg 3 - good health and well-being,sdg 13 - climate action ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2022 15:31
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2022 00:49
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/89443
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ac9cf3

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item