Saturday, February 21, 2009

Quiz answers

Sorry for the delay.

With no further ado, the answers to the questions I posed here:

In comparison to 2003, the excess mortality in the heatwave of 1976 was (e) 200% or more (4000+). And as the climate of the UK has warmed rapidly over the past few decades and the population has aged, excess mortality due to heat has simultaneously (b) declined a little, or maybe a lot, depending on how you view things - the decrease in the actual number of deaths is not considered "statistically significant" outside of Scotland, but given the increase in both temperatures and vulnerable population, it is not in doubt that the general tolerance to heat has improved.

Supporting data is in the two Dept of Health reports, available here and here. The evidence is readily available and should be well-known to everyone working in this field. Bear that in mind next time you hear someone hyping the dire threat posed by the probability that we will have warmer summers in the UK!

7 comments:

rv said...

What do I win ;-)

James Annan said...

The adulation of bloggers around the world :-)

rv said...

The sad thing is I tried to research the answers and failed.

I might turn it into a More or Less item if the right peg comes along like a hot summer for instance.

EliRabett said...

How much of the increased resistance to heat can be credited to cheap air fares and Spanish vacations=:>

James Annan said...

Ah, I've now twigged who rv is, more or less :-)

Eli,

Who needs Spain when you can eat al fresco on the pavements of London? (Not that I'd recommend it right now.)

AdamW said...

How much of that is due to the improvements housing insulation - made to reduce heating costs?

James Annan said...

I don't see how home insulation could have anything to do with a reduction in heat-related deaths - did you have any specific idea in mind? Possibly, draught-proofing could even make it worse, but things like inadequate ventilation are more likely to do with poor design and habit. Eg, I think that a lot of the old Parisian ladies didn't like to have their windows open and insecure overnight, especially at ground level.