A new study in Nature Climate Change has found that, on average, about 37% of heat deaths can be tied back to human-induced climate change. The study gathered data from 732 sites in 43 countries over almost three decades, from 1991 to 2018. Using data related to heat deaths and temperature readings, the researchers built computer models that calculated the number of deaths linked to climate change. The numbers varied by location, with a higher percentage occurring in warmer countries than in cooler ones.

Due to climate change, more people are being exposed to heat waves than ever before. According to the National Weather Service, the Pacific Northwest is currently experiencing “one of the most extreme and prolonged heat waves” ever. Nearly 500 people have died in British Columbia since Friday, and the heatwave continues to grip the region, with the young and the elderly being at most risk. The lesson here is that climate change is one of the biggest problems humanity is facing currently, and if left unchecked, it poses an existential threat to our very species.

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