SEOUL, South Korea, Aug 26 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent study has indicated that more than 650 people will die annually due to summer heat waves in Seoul alone, and the social cost will reach more than 110 billion won each year in the upcoming future. This estimate was reached by analyzing data gathered from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Korea Meteorological Administration, Statistics Korea, and the city government of Seoul.
First, the study identified the correlation between the mortality rate of people over 65 and the ‘heat index’ that takes into account the summer temperature and humidity from 2000 to 2011. Then the study estimated the number of deaths in Seoul based on the ‘climate change outlook for 2015-2050 on the Korean Peninsula’ released by the Korea Meteorological Administration and the estimated population in Seoul.
The study concluded that if emissions of greenhouse gases were reduced due to continuous efforts to cut carbon dioxide during the period the number of deaths would be an average of 651, but if not this number could reach up to 1,100 deaths annually. The study acknowledged this increase in heat wave-related fatalities, and urged for countermeasures including a gradual increase of green areas within the city.