Rising nighttime temperatures due to climate change may disrupt sleep patterns and increase mortality sixfold by 2100

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.


A new global study warns of higher nighttime temperatures due to climate change, as well as the risk of death – nearly six times as much in the future – from excessive heat that disrupts normal sleep patterns.

Extremely hot nights caused by climate change are expected to increase the global death rate by up to 60 percent by the end of the century, according to researchers from China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health, said that ambient heat during the night may interrupt the normal physiology of sleep, and lack of sleep can damage the immune system and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic disease, inflammation and mental health conditions.

“The risks of overheating at night have frequently been ignored,” said study co-author Yuqiang Zhang, a climate scientist from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the US.

said Zhang of the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering at Gillings School.

The results show that the average intensity of hot nighttime events will nearly double by 2090, from 20.4 °C to 39.7 °C across 28 cities in East Asia, increasing the disease burden because excess heat disrupts normal sleep patterns.

This is the first study to estimate the effect of hot nights on mortality risks associated with climate change.

The results showed that the mortality burden could be much higher than estimated by the average daily temperature increase, suggesting that warming from climate change could have a worrisome effect, even under the constraints of the Paris climate agreement.

The team estimated overheating mortality in 28 cities in China, South Korea and Japan between 1980 and 2015 and applied it to two climate change modeling scenarios aligned with carbon-reduction scenarios that had been adapted by the respective national governments.

With this model, the team was able to estimate that between 2016 and 2100, the risk of death from severe nights would increase by about sixfold.

This expectation is much higher than the mortality risk from average daily warming suggested by climate change models.

“From our study, we highlight that when assessing disease burden due to suboptimal temperature, governments and local policy makers should consider the additional health effects of disproportionate changes in temperature during the day,” said Haidong Kan, a professor at Fudan University. In China.

Since the study included only 28 cities from three countries, Zhang said that “extrapolating these results to the whole of East Asia or other regions should be cautious.”


The above article was published from a news agency with minimal edits to the title and text.

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