Correlations between cold winters and mortality in Europe
Winter temperatures and mortality
How important are cold winter temperatures for mortality throughout Europe? A large study has analyzed daily mortality data from 16 European countries for the winter months (December – March). Mortality was correlated with temperature data and data on the incidence of influenza and acute respiratory infections. Results allow predictions about a possible beneficial impact of climate change on winter mortality. More importantly, however, they demonstrate two interesting facts about winter mortality: a) Incidence of influenza is co-correlating with cold winters and mortality suggesting a significant impact of this disease. b) Whether cold winters are more deadly than warm winters depends on where you live. Winter temperatures don’t matter at all in Great Britain, Belgium or the Netherlands but are particularly important in Southern Europe.
Source: Ballester et al., Nature Climate Change, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE3070