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Publication Date
14 May 2024

Global projections of heat exposure of older adults



The global population is aging at the same time as heat exposures are increasing due to climate change. Age structure, and its biological and socio-economic drivers, determine populations’ vulnerability to high temperatures. Here we combine age-stratified demographic projections with downscaled temperature projections to mid-century and find that chronic exposure to heat doubles across all warming scenarios. Moreover, >23% of the global population aged 69+ will inhabit climates whose 95th percentile of daily maximum temperature exceeds the critical threshold of 37.5 °C, compared with 14% today, exposing an additional 177–246 million older adults to dangerous acute heat. Effects are most severe in Asia and Africa, which also have the lowest adaptive capacity. Our results facilitate regional heat risk assessments and inform public health decision-making.

Falchetta, Giacomo, Enrica De Cian, Ian Sue Wing, and Deborah Carr. 2024. “Global Projections Of Heat Exposure Of Older Adults”. Nature Communications 15 (1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1038/s41467-024-47197-5.
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