September 26, 2023

In a current examine printed in Nature Medicine, researchers estimate mortality as a result of warmth in Europe in the summertime of 2022, which was Europe’s hottest summer time on file. To this finish, epidemiological fashions had been used to find out that 62,862 people died in Europe as a result of heat-related causes, which is the second highest in recorded historical past after the summer time of 2003.

Research: Heat-related mortality in Europe during the summer of 2022. Picture Credit score: Eli Mordechai /

European summer time warmth

Greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions have resulted in important world climatic change, which has elevated the frequency of utmost climate occasions, together with heatwaves and intense summers.

The final eight years have been the most well liked globally, with 2022 being the fifth warmest yr ever recorded. Europe stays one of many worst areas affected, with ambient temperatures a mean of 1 °C hotter than earlier than the economic revolution.

Analysis predicting future local weather has cautioned concerning the well being implications of world warming. In truth, warmth waves are related to the worst morbidity and mortality impacts of any excessive climate occasion.

Europe skilled the worst warmth wave in historical past in 2003 when 71,449 extra deaths had been recorded between June and September. The consequential panic resulted within the speedy design and implementation of assorted methods to guard excessive danger people, together with the aged, ladies, and socioeconomically deprived. The effectiveness of those insurance policies is contentious, with restricted proof favoring the methods.

Europe skilled its hottest season on file in the summertime of 2022. Intense warmth waves resulted in droughts and hearth throughout many areas, with Eurostat, the European statistical workplace, reporting unusually excessive mortality in the course of the season. Nonetheless, the complete European area has not but quantified heat-related mortality.

Concerning the examine

Within the current examine, researchers make the most of epidemiological fashions to quantify the mortality burden between Could 30, 2022, and September 4, 2022. Furthermore, the researchers elucidate age- and sex-specific warmth dangers and evaluate their findings with mortality experiences from the summer time of 2003.

Weekly all-cause mortality knowledge was compiled and labeled from Eurostat by intercourse and age. The ultimate dataset comprised 21,913,050 male and 22,000,519 feminine deaths between January 2015 and November 2022. Excessive-resolution temperature knowledge was additionally acquired from ERA5-Land for mannequin calibration.

Temperature and mortality knowledge between January 2015 and December 2019 had been used to calibrate epidemiological fashions, which had been then used to estimate age- and sex-specific mortality for 2022. Statistical analyses comprised a quasi-Poisson regression mannequin, which was used to judge temperature-mortality relationships in every of the 823 recognized European areas.

Subsequently, a meta-regression evaluation was carried out utilizing nation, location-specific temperature common, temperature interquartile vary, and proportion of residents 80 years or older as predictors.

Research findings

Epidemiological fashions estimate that 62,862 individuals died as a result of heat-related problems in Europe in 2022. Of those, 61,672 people died between March 30, 2022, and September. 4, 2022. Nations close to the Mediterranean Sea had been the worst affected, with Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal reporting 295, 280, 237, and 211 deaths/million, respectively.

Age was a major predictor of dying, with important will increase in mortality noticed with age. People between ages 0-64, 65-79, and 80+ years comprised 4,822, 9,226, and 36,848 deaths, respectively.

Males had a 43% increased chance of mortality within the 0-64 age group; nevertheless, this development was reversed within the 65-79 and 80+ cohorts, during which females had a 6% and 121% elevated chance of mortality, respectively.

Temperature knowledge revealed that Europe’s summer time imply temperature has been rising at a price of +0.142 °C every year since 2013. That is notably alarming when in comparison with the +0.028 °C yearly enhance reported between 1991 and 2012.

The summer time of 2022 was additionally confirmed to be the most well liked season in recorded European historical past, with a imply temperature of 20.30 °C, which was increased than the earlier hottest summer time of 2003 at 20.20 °C. Regression analyses counsel that 35.3 extra people die/million for each 1 °C temperature enhance.


The present examine utilized epidemiological fashions to analyze and quantify warmth wave-related mortality in the summertime of 2022 in Europe. These fashions point out that age has a significant function in resilience to warmth stress, with older people at an elevated danger than these as much as 64 years of age.

Earlier research have proven that the danger of warmth wave-related dying has decreased since 2003 in lots of European nations. The examine findings disprove this commentary and spotlight how, whereas interventions could have helped within the short-term, mortality throughout the continent in 2022 matched and virtually exceeded the record-breaking mortality of 2003.

Even though many European nations activated warmth prevention plans in the course of the summer time of 2022, the estimation of over 60,000 heat-related deaths means that prevention plans had been solely partially efficient.”

The examine findings name on European governments to design and implement novel options to forestall and adapt to warmth stress. Except insurance policies and interventions can enhance human adaptation to warmth, 68,116 people will die each summer time by 2030, 94,363 people by 2040, and 120,610 people by 2050.