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20% more heat-related deaths in NYC expected by next decade: Columbia study

Posted: 9:15 PM, May 29, 2013
Updated: 2013-05-29 21:51:55-04

NEW YORK (PIX 11)- A new study projects heat-related deaths will rise in Manhattan.  Researchers say deaths linked to warming climate may rise 20 percent by the 2020’s and 90 percent or more by the 2080’s.  The study was done by a team at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

One of the authors of this study, Dr. Radley Horton, a climate scientist at Columbia, says people need look no further for the potential dangers than the record 2010 heat wave that hit Russia, killing some 55,000 people, and the 2003 one that killed 70,000 in Europe.

The biggest danger is to cities like Manhattan, where heat is concentrated by tall buildings and concrete pavement. Many heat records have been broken in Manhattan recently; 2012 was the hottest year on record, and in each of the past three years, we have seen temperatures at or above 100 degrees.