England had 4,500 heat-related deaths during record-breaking 2022

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FILE PHOTO: A drone view of Tower Bridge as a heatwave drove temperatures in the British capital towards record levels for the month of September, in London, Britain, September 9, 2023. REUTERS/Yann Tessier/File photo

LONDON (Reuters) – There were an estimated 4,507 heat-related deaths in England in 2022, according to an official study on climate-related mortality published on Friday which showed some signs of an increase in deaths linked to hot weather.

Britain recorded its hottest day ever in July 2022, when temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius as part of a climate change-fuelled heatwave across Europe.

The Office for National Statistics said their study showed “some indication that heat-related deaths have increased over recent years” but described the data as experimental and advised caution when making individual year-to-year comparisons.

“Any change in climate towards more extreme temperatures would likely lead to an increase in attributable deaths,” the ONS said.

Britain’s 10 warmest years on record have all occurred this century, according to the Met Office national forecaster.

The ONS said during the 35 years from 1988 and 2022 an estimated 51,670 deaths in England were associated with the hottest 5% of days and an estimated 199,298 deaths were associated with the coldest 5% of days.

The highest mortality risk was in London when temperatures rose above 29 C, where the risk of death was three times higher than when temperatures were between 9 C and 22 C, the ONS said.

Temperatures in Britain this summer did not hit the highs of 2022, but a heatwave earlier this month also saw the first ever run of seven consecutive days above 30 C in September. The Met Office said 2023 was Britain’s eighth warmest summer on record.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; editing by William James)