UK weather: Heatwave expected as high pressure moves in
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
The factors that set centenarians apart from the masses are both genetic and environmental. But the effects of some environmental factors, such as temperature, remain poorly understood in terms of their effects on the ageing body. Now new evidence suggests a climb in nighttime temperatures could increase mortality rates by a staggering 60 percent by the end of the century. Here’s why.
Findings published in the journal Nature Metabolism earlier this year found that body temperature exerted a greater effect on lifespan than the speed of energy spent.
The discovery, made by researchers at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Wenzhou University and the University of Aberdeen, appeared to suggest that body temperature may be a more important mediator of lifespan than metabolic rate.
Mice and hamsters exposed to high temperatures in the study saw their metabolism fall and their body temperature increase.
Professor John R Speakfrom, the co-corresponding author of the study, said: “We found that exposing the rodents to these conditions shortened their lifespans.
“Lower metabolisms didn’t lengthen their lives, but higher temperatures shortened it.”
The findings reinforce growing evidence that variations in temperature have profound effects on living organisms.
What’s more, they cite new research warning there will be an increased risk of mortality as temperatures rise across the globe.
The latest research, published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health, was co-authored by a group of researchers in China, South Korea, Japan, Germany and the US.
One of the co-authors, Yuqiang Zhang, Ph.D, a climate scientist in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the Gillings School, said: “The risks of increasing temperature at night were frequently neglected.
“However, in our study, we found that the occurrence of hot night excess is projected to occur more rapidly than the daily mean temperature changes.
“The frequency and mean intensity of hot nights would increase more than 30 percent and 60 percent by the 2100s, respectively, compared with less than 20 percent increase for the daily means temperature.”
The threat to human health lies mainly in the fact that ambient heat during the night interrupts the normal physiology of sleep.
The effects of reduced sleep quality and quantity can be damaging to the immune system, which in turn increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic illnesses, inflammation and mental health conditions.
Mr Zhang added: “To combat the health risk raised by the temperature increases from climate change, we should design efficient ways to help people adapt.
“Locally, heat during the night should be taken into account when designing the future heatwave warning system, especially for vulnerable populations and low-income communities who may not be able to afford the additional expense of air conditioning.
“Also, stronger mitigation strategies, including global collaborations should be considered to reduce future impacts of warming.
The findings of the study revealed that the average intensity of hot night events will nearly double by 2090, which could increase the burden of disease.
Haidong Kan, Ph.D, who is a professor at Fudan University in China and the study’s corresponding author, added: “From our study, we highlight that in assessing the disease burden due to non-optimum temperature, governments and local polymers should consider the extra health impact of the disproportionally intra-day temperature variations.
“A more complete health risk assessment of future climate change can help policymakers for better resource allocation and priority setting. “
Source: Read Full Article