Heat exposure deaths inspire proposed air conditioning requirements in Illinois



 Two bills in the Illinois legislature this session will require air conditioning, or at least a common room with air conditioning, in buildings housing seniors.

Last May, when a heat wave sent temperatures in Illinois soaring into the high 90s, three older women living in state-subsidized housing died of heat exposure in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago. The three seniors, Delores McNeely, 76, Gwendolyn Osborne, 72, and Janice Reed, 68, were constituents of state Sen. Mike Simmons, D-Chicago. Two separate bills now aim to prevent these types of deaths,

Simmons sponsored a proposal that would require all state-funded affordable housing to have air conditioning. The bill passed the state Senate in March.


In March, the National Low Income Housing Coalition and Housing Action Illinois found that Illinois is lacking 300,000 affordable housing units for the 443,746 poorest households in the state. For every 100 extremely low-income renters, there are only 34 affordable and available units, the report found.

The report defines “very low income” in the Chicago area as households that earn less than $31,250 a year for a family of four, and $22,000 a year for a single person. Many seniors on Social Security live on half of that, Palmer said.

Author(s): Zeta Cross

Publication Date: 22 Apr 2023

Publication Site: The Center Square

Recent Trends in Heat-Related Mortality in the United States: An Update through 2018

Link: https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/wcas/13/1/wcas-d-20-0083.1.xml

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1175/WCAS-D-20-0083.1



Much research has shown a general decrease in the negative health response to extreme heat events in recent decades. With a society that is growing older, and a climate that is warming, whether this trend can continue is an open question. Using eight additional years of mortality data, we extend our previous research to explore trends in heat-related mortality across the United States. For the period 1975–2018, we examined the mortality associated with extreme-heat-event days across the 107 largest metropolitan areas. Mortality response was assessed over a cumulative 10-day lag period following events that were defined using thresholds of the excess heat factor, using a distributed-lag nonlinear model. We analyzed total mortality and subsets of age and sex. Our results show that in the past decade there is heterogeneity in the trends of heat-related human mortality. The decrease in heat vulnerability continues among those 65 and older across most of the country, which may be associated with improved messaging and increased awareness. These decreases are offset in many locations by an increase in mortality among men 45–64 (+1.3 deaths per year), particularly across parts of the southern and southwestern United States. As heat-warning messaging broadly identifies the elderly as the most vulnerable group, the results here suggest that differences in risk perception may play a role. Further, an increase in the number of heat events over the past decade across the United States may have contributed to the end of a decades-long downward trend in the estimated number of heat-related fatalities.

Author(s): Scott C. Sheridan1, P. Grady Dixon2, Adam J. Kalkstein3, and Michael J. Allen4

Publication Date: Published-online: 14 Dec 2020

Print Publication: 01 Jan 2021

Publication Site: Weather, Climate, and Society

California Extreme heat deaths show climate change risks




Between 2010 and 2019, the hottest decade on record, California’s official data from death certificates attributed 599 deaths to heat exposure.

But a Times analysis found that the true toll is probably six times higher. An examination of mortality data from this period shows that thousands more people died on extremely hot days than would have been typical during milder weather. All told, the analysis estimates that extreme heat caused about 3,900 deaths.


California’s undercount is one of the ways it overlooks the threat posed by heat waves, even as climate change delivers them more frequently, more intensely and with deadlier consequences. Other states are moving with greater urgency to confront this public health challenge that disproportionately imperils the elderly and vulnerable.

Extreme heat did not suddenly become a threat to Californians’ lives. The Times found that state leaders have ignored years of warnings from within their own agencies that heat was becoming more dangerous. Data reviewed by The Times show heat-related hospital visits increasing in some parts of California, including Los Angeles County, for at least the last 15 years.

Github: https://github.com/datadesk/extreme-heat-excess-deaths-analysis

Author(s): Anna M. Phillips, Tony Barboza, Ruben Vives, Sean Greene

Publication Date: 7 Oct 2021

Publication Site: LA Times

Projections of temperature-related excess mortality under climate change scenarios

Link: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanplh/article/PIIS2542-5196(17)30156-0/fulltext



Our dataset comprised 451 locations in 23 countries across nine regions of the world, including 85 879 895 deaths. Results indicate, on average, a net increase in temperature-related excess mortality under high-emission scenarios, although with important geographical differences. In temperate areas such as northern Europe, east Asia, and Australia, the less intense warming and large decrease in cold-related excess would induce a null or marginally negative net effect, with the net change in 2090–99 compared with 2010–19 ranging from −1·2% (empirical 95% CI −3·6 to 1·4) in Australia to −0·1% (−2·1 to 1·6) in east Asia under the highest emission scenario, although the decreasing trends would reverse during the course of the century. Conversely, warmer regions, such as the central and southern parts of America or Europe, and especially southeast Asia, would experience a sharp surge in heat-related impacts and extremely large net increases, with the net change at the end of the century ranging from 3·0% (−3·0 to 9·3) in Central America to 12·7% (−4·7 to 28·1) in southeast Asia under the highest emission scenario. Most of the health effects directly due to temperature increase could be avoided under scenarios involving mitigation strategies to limit emissions and further warming of the planet.


Antonio Gasparrini, PhD
Yuming Guo, PhD
Francesco Sera, MSc
Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, PhD
Veronika Huber, PhD
Prof Shilu Tong, PhD
Micheline de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho, PhD
Prof Paulo Hilario Nascimento Saldiva, PhD
Eric Lavigne, PhD
Patricia Matus Correa, MSc
Nicolas Valdes Ortega, MSc
Haidong Kan, PhD
Samuel Osorio, MSc
Jan Kyselý, PhD
Aleš Urban, PhD
Prof Jouni J K Jaakkola, PhD
Niilo R I Ryti, PhD
Mathilde Pascal, PhD
Prof Patrick G Goodman, PhD
Ariana Zeka, PhD
Paola Michelozzi, MSc
Matteo Scortichini, MSc
Prof Masahiro Hashizume, PhD
Prof Yasushi Honda, PhD
Prof Magali Hurtado-Diaz, PhD
Julio Cesar Cruz, MSc
Xerxes Seposo, PhD
Prof Ho Kim, PhD
Aurelio Tobias, PhD
Carmen Iñiguez, PhD
Prof Bertil Forsberg, PhD
Daniel Oudin Åström, PhD
Martina S Ragettli, PhD
Prof Yue Leon Guo, PhD
Chang-fu Wu, PhD
Antonella Zanobetti, PhD
Prof Joel Schwartz, PhD
Prof Michelle L Bell, PhD
Tran Ngoc Dang, PhD
Prof Dung Do Van, PhD
Clare Heaviside, PhD
Sotiris Vardoulakis, PhD
Shakoor Hajat, PhD
Prof Andy Haines, FMedSci
Prof Ben Armstrong, PhD

Publication Date: 1 December 2017

Publication Site: The Lancet

The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent human-induced climate change

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01058-x



Climate change affects human health; however, there have been no large-scale, systematic efforts to quantify the heat-related human health impacts that have already occurred due to climate change. Here, we use empirical data from 732 locations in 43 countries to estimate the mortality burdens associated with the additional heat exposure that has resulted from recent human-induced warming, during the period 1991–2018. Across all study countries, we find that 37.0% (range 20.5–76.3%) of warm-season heat-related deaths can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change and that increased mortality is evident on every continent. Burdens varied geographically but were of the order of dozens to hundreds of deaths per year in many locations. Our findings support the urgent need for more ambitious mitigation and adaptation strategies to minimize the public health impacts of climate change.

Vicedo-Cabrera, A.M., Scovronick, N., Sera, F. et al. The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent human-induced climate change. Nat. Clim. Chang. 11, 492–500 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01058-x

Author(s): A. M. Vicedo-Cabrera, N. Scovronick, A. Gasparrini

Publication Date: 31 May 2021

Publication Site: nature

Bjorn Lomborg: “Climate Change Coverage Ignores the Heavy Impact of heat on cold deaths”


Earlier this monthlandmark study in Nature made headlines around the world. Rising temperatures from global warming increase the number of heat deaths, now causing a third of all heat deaths, or about 100,000 deaths per year.

Obviously, this is a powerful narrative to justify urgent climate policies.

But the study left out glaring truths that even its own authors have abundantly documented. Heat deaths are declining in countries with good data, likely because of ever more air conditioning. This is abundantly clear for the US, which has seen increasing hot days since 1960 affecting a much greater population. Yet, the number of heat deaths has halved. So while global warming could result in more heat deaths, technological development in, for instance, the US, is actually resulting in fewer heat deaths.

More importantly, cold deaths vastly outweigh heat deaths worldwide. This is not just true for cold countries like Canada but also warmer countries like the US, Spain and Brazil. Even in India, cold deaths outweigh heat deaths by 7-to-1. Globally, about 1.7 million deaths are caused by cold, more than five times the number of heat deaths

Author(s): Bjorn Lomborg

Publication Date: 26 June 2021

Publication Site: Watts Up With That