Spells of extreme cold kill over 27,000 Americans each year, or about 700 people each very cold day. Heat waves may receive more publicity, but it turns out that cold periods — days with an average temperature below 30 degrees —have more significant and longer-lasting effects on human mortality. More people die in cold periods than in homicides.I wonder the economists researching global warming have considered this in their analyses yet?
Extreme cold brings cardiovascular stress as human bodies struggle to adjust to the temperature; many of the deaths in these periods come through heart attacks. Heat waves tend to kill people who were already weakened and would have died soon anyway; cold periods bring additional people to the verge of death.
When retired people move to a warmer state, their life expectancy rises dramatically. In fact, 8 to 15 percent of the increase in American life expectancy over the last 30 years comes from people moving to warmer climates, according to research done by two economics professors, Olivier Deschenes at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Enrico Moretti, at the University of California, Berkeley.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008