Experts say around 4 in 10 heat related deaths are due to climate change.

A new study featuring Australian researchers finds that a total of 37 per cent of global heat-related human deaths can be attributed to anthropogenic climate change.

Over the past two centuries, global temperatures have risen by an average of 1°C as a result of anthropogenic climate change, with some areas experiencing more warming than others. 

These rising temperatures - along with the increasing frequency and severity of heatwaves - have consequences for human health.

Using data from 732 locations in 43 countries, researchers investigated the impact that anthropogenic climate change has had on human mortality due to heat over the past three decades (1991–2018). 

Epidemiological methods and climate models reveal that, on average, 37 per cent of global heat-related deaths are attributable to anthropogenic warming. 

The authors found that increased mortality due to climate change since the preindustrial period is detectable on every inhabited continent. 

They also noted a larger percentage of deaths due to climate change in warmer countries in southern Europe, and southern and western Asia.

The study was unable to include data from several key regions - such as parts of Africa and South Asia - and in some countries data was only available for a few cities. 

Researcher Dann Mitchell says that understanding regional differences will be important, as the regions of extremely high population growth are the regions that there is a lack of data for.

Also, he says the findings reveal the pressing need to implement more ambitious mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce the repercussions of climate change on public health.

The study is accessible here.