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Green spaces could save thousands of people from death

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According to scientists from the Spanish University of Pompeu Vara, the number of deaths in cities due to the heat in the summer of 2015 could be reduced by a third by increasing the area of ​​green spaces in cities by 30 percent.

The Lancet notes that the researchers estimated the death rate of people over 20 years of age living in 93 European cities from June 1 to August 31, 2015, a total of 57 million people were interviewed. The researchers linked mortality to average daily temperature in two models: the first takes into account the effect of an urban heat island, and the second simulates a decrease in temperature due to a 30 percent increase in tree area.

It should be noted that temperatures during the study period were 1.5 degrees higher than in the outskirts of cities and rural areas. The biggest difference was in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, 4.1 degrees Celsius. Overall, 75 percent of the population lived in heat island areas with a temperature difference of more than 1 degree Celsius, and 20 percent of those had a difference of more than 2 degrees.

And it became clear to the researchers that 6,700 deaths were due to high air temperatures in cities, which is equivalent to 4.3% of the total number of deaths in the summer season and 1.8% of annual deaths.

The simulation results showed that the number of deaths could be reduced by 2,644 if urban forests were increased by 30 percent, equivalent to 39.5 percent of the total heat-related deaths.

Source: Linta. EN

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