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Effects of Temperature on Human Mortality in Scotland
Carder, M., McNamee, R., Beverland, I., Elton, R., Cohen, G.R., Boyd, J. and Agius, R.M. 2005. The lagged effect of cold temperature and wind chill on cardiorespiratory mortality in Scotland. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 62: 702-710.

What was done
The authors used generalized linear Poisson regression models to investigate the relationship between outside air temperature and deaths due to all non-accident causes in the three largest cities of Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen) that occurred between January 1981 and December 2001.

What was learned
Carder et al. report that they observed "an overall increase in mortality as temperature decreases," which "appears to be steeper at lower temperatures than at warmer temperatures," while they say "there is little evidence of an increase in mortality at the hot end of the temperature range." They also report that "the observed relation between cold temperature and mortality was typically stronger among the elderly," and they state that one of the important findings of their study was that "cold temperature effects on mortality persist with lag periods of beyond two weeks." Specifically, they found that "for temperatures below 11C, a 1C drop in the daytime mean temperature on any one day was associated with an increase in mortality of 2.9%, 3.4%, 4.8% and 1.7% over the following month for all cause, cardiovascular, respiratory, and 'other' cause mortality, respectively."

What it means
At any season of the year, a decline in air temperature in the major cities of Scotland leads to increases in deaths due to all non-accident causes, while there is little to no increase in mortality associated with whatever might qualify as a heat wave. Yet it is heat waves that climate alarmists in Europe and elsewhere continually castigate as being the prime purveyors of untimely weather-related death. In reality, and throughout the entire world, extreme cold temperatures kill far more people than extreme warm temperatures (see Health Effects (Temperature - Hot vs. Cold Weather) in our Subject Index); and in Scotland, even modest cooling kills.

Reviewed 22 February 2006