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Rising nighttime temperatures due to climate change could disrupt sleep patterns and increase mortality sixfold by 2100

Rising nighttime temperatures due to climate change could disrupt sleep patterns and increase mortality sixfold by 2100
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    Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  (IANS)

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

(IANS)

As nighttime temperatures rise due to climate change, so does your risk of dying – nearly six times in the future – from excess heat that disrupts normal sleep patterns, a new global study has warned.

According to researchers from China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States, deaths from excessively hot nights caused by climate change are predicted to increase by up to 60 percent worldwide by the end of this century.

According to a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health, ambient heat at night can disrupt the normal physiology of sleep, and less sleep can damage the immune system and lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic illness, inflammation and mental health conditions.

“The risks of rising nighttime temperatures were often overlooked,” said study co-author Yuqiang Zhang, a climate scientist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US.

“The frequency and average intensity of warm nights will increase by more than 30 percent and 60 percent, respectively, by 2100, compared to an increase of less than 20 percent for daily average temperatures,” said Zhang of the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the Gillings School.

The results show that the average intensity of hot night events will nearly double by 2090, from 20.4°C to 39.7°C in 28 cities in East Asia, increasing the burden of disease due to excessive heat disrupting normal sleep patterns.

This is the first study to estimate the effect of hot nights on the risk of climate change-related mortality.

The study found that the burden of mortality could be significantly higher than projected increases in daily average temperatures, suggesting that warming due to climate change could have a troubling impact, even within the restrictions of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The team estimated death rates from excess heat in 28 cities in China, South Korea and Japan between 1980 and 2015 and applied it to two climate change modeling scenarios that correspond to carbon-reduction scenarios adapted by the respective national governments.

With this model, the team was able to estimate that between 2016 and 2100, the risk of dying from a sweltering night will increase nearly sixfold.

This prediction is much higher than the daily average warming mortality risk suggested by climate change models.

“From our research, we highlight that, to assess the burden of disease due to non-optimal temperatures, governments and local policymakers should consider the additional health effects of inconsistent intra-day temperature variations,” said Haidong Kan, a professor at Fudan University. In China.

Because the study only included 28 cities in three countries, Zhang said that “extrapolation of these findings to the entire East Asia region or other regions should be cautious.”

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The above article was published by a wire agency with minimal changes to the headline and text.

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