Thousands of annual heat-related deaths could be potentially avoided in major US cities if global temperatures are limited to the Paris Climate Goals compared with current climate commitments, according to a new study published today in Science Advances.

The research is highly relevant to decisions about strengthening national climate actions in 2020, when the next round of climate pledges is due in 2020.  It was led by the University of Bristol, together with experts from likes of the University of Oxford, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was co-authored by Will Roberts, a Senior Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at Northumbria University who specialises in understanding how climate has changed through history.

The Paris Agreement aims at keeping global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an ambition of limiting warming to 1.5°C. Nations in the agreement are required to submit their climate pledges every five years.

Climate scientists and epidemiologists from the UK and the US combined observed temperature and mortality data with climate projections of different warmer worlds, to estimate changes in the number of heat-related deaths for 15 major US cities.

Their findings showed that limiting warming to the lower Paris Climate Goal could avoid 110 to 2,720 annual heat-related deaths during extreme heat-events, depending on the city. Read more.