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7,000 excess winter deaths in Australia and 1,500 in New Zealand each year

Posted By Joanne Nova On November 21, 2011 @ 1:28 am In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Excess winter deaths are more than triple the number killed on the road.

Indur Goklany compares average daily deaths for each month in Australia and New Zealand and shows that in both countries (like in much of the rest of the world) there are more deaths in the cooler months.

While climate change legislation aims to make the world cooler, statistics show that the cooler months consistently have higher mortality.

In the unlikely event that legislation might succeed in reducing global temperatures, based on past statistical records, thousands of extra people may die as a result. In study after study, it’s clear that more people die in the colder months than in the rest of the year. The trend applies even in warm countries like Australia.


Average daily deaths for each month in Australia (left axis, black numbers) and New Zealand (right axis, grey numbers) over a ten year period.


The statistics indicate that:

  • For the 10-year period, 1998-2007, Australia had excess winter deaths of 6,779 per yr out of a total of 131,613 deaths per yr (avg.) This works out to 5.2% of all deaths per yr (on avg).
  • For the 10-yr period, 1999-2008, NZ had excess winter deaths of 1,542 per yr out of a total of 27,792 deaths per yr (avg.) This is equivalent to 5.5% of all deaths per yr (on avg).

The excess deaths in winter are roughly more than 4.5 times (Australia) and 3.75 times (New Zealand) the annual road toll.


Australian Bureau of Statistics Death Australia 2008
New Zealand Statistics: Births Deaths
Annual Road Toll Australia: approx 1500 deaths
Annual Road Toll New Zealand: approx 400 deaths


Thanks to Indur Goklany: Ph.D. Electrical Engineering, Michigan State University. Goklany has worked with the IPCC as an author, US delegate and reviewer, was involved in managing the emissions trading program at the EPA before it became fashionable. Julian Simon Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (2000), Visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (2002-2003). Winner of the Julian Simon Prize and Award (2007). He has written extensively on the interactions between globalization, economic development, environmental quality, technological change, climate change, and human well-being.

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