Deaths due to heatwaves set to rise in cooler climes

Modelling suggested deaths due to heatwaves would rise by around 257% by the 2050s, from a current annual baseline of about 2000 deaths, whereas cold-related mortality would decline by 2% from a baseline of about 41,000 deaths.

Protection from hot weather will become a public health issue, the researchers said, particularly as elderly people in lower socio-economic groups might not be able to afford air conditioners, unless they were heavily subsidised.

In England, the Department of Health now has both heatwave and cold weather protection plans.