Heatwaves 'could kill 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100'

Scientists warn of urgency in curbing climate change

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A sign of a pharmarcy shows the temperature during the...

More than 150,000 people could die each year in European heatwaves by 2100, scientists have warned.

The figure is 50 times more deaths than is reported now, with southern Europe predicted to be the worst affected.

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A study in The Lancet Planetary Health journal said that unless reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are made and protections are put in place, weather-related disasters are expected to affect two-thirds of Europe's population.

The study by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre found that there will also be a significant rise in deaths from coastal flooding.

Heatwaves, cold snaps, wildfires, windstorms, river and coastal floods and droughts were named the most dangerous types of weather-related events.

Lead scientist Dr Giovanni Forzieri, from the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Italy, said: "Climate change is one of the biggest global threats to human health of the 21st century, and its peril to society will be increasingly connected to weather-driven hazards.

"Unless global warming is curbed as a matter of urgency and appropriate adaptation measures are taken, about 350 million Europeans could be exposed to harmful climate extremes on an annual basis by the end of this century, with a 50-times increase in fatalities compared with now.

Weird weather and strange phenomena around the world

Weird weather and strange phenomena around the world