More bad climate change news- a new study from Columbia University refutes the concept that global warming will lower the number of winter deaths in the cold months.

Researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health looked at temperature and mortality data from 39 cities in the US and France. They found a warmer overall climate has limited, if any, correlation to mortalities caused by exposure to winter weather.

Lead author professor Patrick Kinney said, “Some have claimed that warmer winters due to climate change will lead to big reductions in winter deaths. Our work suggests that this is unlikely to be the case.”

The study, published in the journal IOP Science, notes that rrather than cold temperatures directly affecting mortality, indirect causes may be more prevalent reasons. They cite the lack of exercise and mobility in winter as well as low humidity in the air and increased time spent indoors, which increases the risk of flu and respiratory infections.

Kinney, who also is a member of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, and a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report, added:

“These cities vary widely in demography, urban design, and socio-cultural background, all of which might influence exposure to outdoor temperature and related mortality risks.”

So one more complaint to put on the global warming gripe list, right after violent storms, famines, fires, droughts, floods, and boiling hot temperatures.

The study was supported by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (grant NA100AR4310212) and the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (grant P30 ES09089).

Winter season mortality: will climate warming bring benefits? Patrick L Kinney et al 2015 Environ. Res. Lett. 10 064016

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