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Climate Change Linked to 5 Million Deaths a Year, New Study Shows

Almost 10% of global deaths can be attributed to abnormally hot or cold temperatures, according to new research linking extreme weather to mortality

New York Heat Wave Nears Its Sweaty Peak As Northwest Highs Ease
Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

The extraordinarily hot and cold temperatures that are becoming more common as climate change accelerates are responsible for 5 million deaths globally every year.

Extreme weather accounted for 9.4% of all deaths globally between 2000 and 2019, according to researchers who on Wednesday published the first study linking changes in temperatures to annual increases in mortality. While most deaths have been caused by exposure to the cold, the trend is likely to reverse as the planet warms, they said.