The forecast for 2080: heatwaves, 11,000 deaths – and dengue fever
Tuesday 11 September 2012
Climate change may increase the number of heat-related deaths in the UK by 540 per cent, health experts predict.
By 2080 almost 11,000 people could die every year as a result of heatwaves, up from 2,000 at present, as extreme weather becomes more common, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).
Rising temperatures could also mean that British people contract exotic illnesses at home as mosquitos carrying tropical diseases, such as dengue fever and chikungunya, migrate to the UK.
People with hay fever will have a protracted period of suffering each year as the warmer climate could mean the pollen season starts earlier and finishes later.
A report by the HPA, based on the latest climate change projections for the UK, suggests the health burden created by cold weather could decline by 2080 compared with the present day as average temperatures are expected to rise between 2C and 5C.
Heatwaves are likely to cause more premature deaths, increasing by 70 per cent in the 2020s and by 540 per cent over the next 70 years, the experts predict.
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