Global Warming Science -


Climatic Events – Human Disease / Death


[last update: 2011/02/04]


While the global warming scare got rolling,

other climatic events such as receding glaciers have also garnered much alarmist attention.

Human disease / death are the focus of this document.


Other documents in Climatic Events include:



This document contains sections on:










The alarmist scenario predicts an increase in malaria around the world since tropical areas are warmer and have more malaria – therefore warming areas will have more in the future. This scenario ignores the actual factors influencing malarial outbreaks.


Malaria was common in the United States during the late 1800s. “In 1878, 100,000 Americans were infected with malaria, and some 25,000 died. Malaria was eradicated from the United States in the 1950s not because of climate change (it was warmer in the 1950s than in the 1880s), but because of technological advances. Air conditioning, the use of screen doors and windows, and the elimination of urban overpopulation brought about by the development of suburbs and automobile commuting were largely responsible for the decline in malaria (Reiter, 1996).” []




See The Malaria Journal, Dec 2008: “Global warming and malaria: knowing the horse before hitching the cart” by Paul Reiter [] for a good explanation that debunks the “global warming will cause malaria” alarm. Some points from that paper:


  • There is a widespread misconception that mosquito-borne diseases require tropical temperatures, or at least the temperatures of the warmer temperate regions.


  • Few people are aware that it is less than forty years since the final eradication of malaria in Europe and the United States. Indeed, the disease was common in the period from the 16th to 18th centuries that climatologists term the Little Ice Age, and data from burial records around the Thames estuary reveal that mortality in "marsh parishes" of England was comparable to that in areas of transmission in sub-Saharan Africa today


  • In the 1880s, it was widespread in nearly all states east of the Rocky Mountains, from the semitropical Gulf Coast states to the northern border and into Canada. It was also present west of the Rocky Mountains, particularly in areas where rainfall is abundant. As living conditions improved, and anti-malarial drugs became more widely available, the incidence of the disease declined.


  • Simplistic reasoning on the future prevalence of malaria is ill-founded; malaria is not limited by climate in most temperate regions, nor in the tropics, and in nearly all cases, "new" malaria at high altitudes is well below the maximum altitudinal limits for transmission. Future changes in climate may alter the prevalence and incidence of the disease, but obsessive emphasis on "global warming" as a dominant parameter is indefensible



[update 2010/05/20]: “Malaria in Retreat Despite Warmer Climate

[] measures to combat malaria appear to be neutralising the expected global increase of the disease driven by rising temperatures. … Peter Gething of the University of Oxford compared a map of the range of malaria in 2007 with one from 1900, when the world was 0.7 °C cooler. He found the proportion of Earth's landmass where malaria is endemic has fallen from 58 per cent to 30 per cent (Nature, vol 465, p 342). Malaria's rate of transmission has also fallen almost everywhere. This indicates that the incidence of malaria may not rise as a result of climate change. "The things acting to reduce malaria spread, like improved healthcare and disease control, are much more powerful than the weak effect of warming," Gething says.


The New Scientist had previously reported in 1998 that “Global warming is causing a worldwide resurgence in mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, resulting in epidemics among people who have no immunity to them.” []



[update 2010/06/09]: “Climate Change and the Global Malaria Recession

[] “widespread claims that rising mean temperatures have already led to increases in worldwide malaria morbidity and mortality are largely at odds with observed decreasing global trends in both its endemicity and geographic extent. … Predictions of an intensification of malaria in a warmer world, based on extrapolated empirical relationships or biological mechanisms, must be set against a context of a century of warming that has seen marked global declines in the disease and a substantial weakening of the global correlation between malaria endemicity and climate.


The above paper is elaborated on at World Climate Report, which shows the following figure from the study [] This figure shows Malaria endemicity in 1900 (a, top) and in 2007 (b, middle) shaded by severity category. The difference in endemicity (c, bottom) from 1900 to 2007 indicates worsening malaria in red areas and improvements in blue – note: there are no red areas.




[update 2011/02/04]: “Malaria Transmission to Decline in Burundi because of Global Warming

[] “Malaria transmission will not increase because of global warming in the African nation of Burundi according to a statistical analysis by researchers in Austria and Burundi. Writing in the International Journal of Global Warming, the team explains that rising temperatures will lead to lower humidity and rainfall which will shorten the lifespan of mosquitoes carrying malaria.







Death Due To Extreme Weather


Some global warming alarmists suggest that global warming will result in increasing deaths of humans due to extreme heat events in summer. But it’s winter that causes more weather-related deaths.


Even the BBC admits it: “Global warming dominates the headlines, but in the UK the cold of winter is much more hazardous to health - especially for the elderly and the sick. … Heart attacks and strokes rise as temperatures fall. … There is also evidence to suggest influenza itself is able to put on its optimum performance when it is cold.” []




A study by Indur Goklany published in 2007 (“Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events -- Global and U.S. Trends, 1900–2006” []) shows that even during the period of 1970 – 2006 (the period in which the IPCC says has experienced anthropogenic global warming), deaths due to extreme weather continue to decline. The following figures are from that paper.






The following table is also from the above paper. It shows that in the United States, deaths due to extreme cold are about twice deaths due to extreme heat.





Indur Goklany provides the following table []




A 2007 paper by Deschenes and Moretti (“Extreme Weather Events, Mortality and Migration”,

[]) states: “both extreme heat and extreme cold result in immediate increases in mortality. However, the increase in mortality following extreme heat appears entirely driven by near-term displacement, while the increase in mortality following extreme cold is long lasting. The aggregate effect of cold on mortality is quantitatively large. We estimate that the number of annual deaths attributable to cold temperature is 14,380 or 0.8% of average annual deaths in the US during our sample period.


Regarding migration (i.e. many people in the U.S. move to southern – warmer – climates as they retire and that is where the largest US population growth is), they state: “every year, 4,600 deaths are delayed by changes in exposure to cold temperature induced by mobility. The longevity gains associated with long term trends in geographical mobility account for 4%-7% of the total gains in life expectancy experienced by the US population over the past 30 years.




The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences published the following figure in 2003 (Davis et al, “Changing Heat-Related Mortality in the United States” []). The report states: “We calculated the annual excess mortality on days when apparent temperatures--an index that combines air temperature and humidity--exceeded a threshold value for 28 major metropolitan areas in the United States from 1964 through 1998. Heat-related mortality rates declined significantly over time in 19 of the 28 cities. For the 28-city average, there were 41.0 ± 4.8 (mean ± SE) excess heat-related deaths per year (per standard million) in the 1960s and 1970s, 17.3 ± 2.7 in the 1980s, and 10.5 ± 2.0 in the 1990s. In the 1960s and 1970s, almost all study cities exhibited mortality significantly above normal on days with high apparent temperatures. During the 1980s, many cities, particularly those in the typically hot and humid southern United States, experienced no excess mortality. In the 1990s, this effect spread northward across interior cities. … Heat-related mortality has consistently declined on a decadal basis (Figure 2). In 19 of our 28 study cities, total annual heat-related (population-adjusted) mortality was statistically significantly lower in the 1990s than in our 1960s-1970s decade. … In the United States and other countries, mortality is higher in winter than in summer




The following figure shows the frequency of heat waves since 1895. (Kunkel et al) []



Kunkel Heat Waves 



There is also no relationship between global warming and flood deaths.






Britain has been experiencing deaths due to cold weather (maybe they are hoping for global warming):










Water Shortage


Some global warming alarmists suggest that global warming will result in increasing drinking water shortages and conflicts resulting from this.


The IPCC AR4 summary for policymakers report (Nov.2007) Figure SPM.7 shows the following:




Indur Goklany shows that the IPCC is being deceptive in this misrepresentation (“How the IPCC Portrayed a Net Positive Impact of Climate Change as Negative”


He states that the above figure “neglects to inform us that water stress could be reduced for many hundreds of millions more — see Table 10 from the original reference, Arnell (2004). As a result, the net global population at risk of water stress might actually be reduced. And, that is precisely what Table 9 from Arnell (2004) shows. In fact, by the 2080s the net global population at risk declines by up to 2.1 billion people (depending on which scenario one wants to emphasize)!