How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Click to locate material archived on our website by topic

Summer and Winter Deaths in Brisbane, Australia
Bi, P., Parton, K.A., Wang, J. and Donald, K. 2008. Temperature and direct effects on population health in Brisbane, 1986-1995. Journal of Environmental Health 70 (8): 48-53.

What was done
The authors used correlation and autoregressive integrated moving average regression analyses to derive relationships between various aspects of weather and mortality in the general population and elderly (65 years of age and older) of Brisbane, Australia -- which they describe as having a subtropical climate -- over the period 1986-1995.

What was learned
Bi et al. report that "death rates were around 50-80 per 100,000 in June, July, and August [winter], while they were around 30-50 per 100,000 in the rest of the year, including the summer," and that "this finding applied both to the general population and to the elderly population, and to deaths from various causes."

What it means
In discussing the fact that "more deaths occurred in the winter than during other seasons of the year, although winter in Brisbane is very mild," the researchers further note that "it is understandable that more deaths would occur in winters in cold or temperate regions, but even in a subtropical region, as indicated in this study, a decrease in temperatures (in winters) may increase human mortality." Consequently, the evidence continues to grow that extremes of cold lead to the deaths of many more people than extremes of heat in both cold and warm climates. See, in this regard, the many other items we have archived under the heading of Health Effects (Temperature - Hot vs. Cold Weather) in our Subject Index.

Reviewed 25 June 2008