Irish weather is known for being wet, windy, and generally miserable, so it may come as a surprise to many to learn that 294 deaths are believed to have been caused by heat waves in the country over the past 30 years.
A DIT study published by the Environmental Protection Agency showed that past heat waves have resulted in increased deaths, illness and hospitalisations across the island of Ireland.241 deaths occurred in rural areas of the country, with 53 in more urban cities including Dublin, Cork, Drogheda, Arklow, Dundalk, Galway, Limerick and Waterford.
With temperatures rising, these numbers could increase over the coming years. “More people die when temperatures are at either extreme, namely during cold weather and during very hot weather,” Professor Pat Goodman told TheJournal.ie. “More severe heat waves may result in a significant excess mortality.”
The report suggests that countries all across Europe will need to make adaptation to heat waves a priority. While many will welcome the increase in sunshine, extra care will need to be taken for those most vulnerable,particularly young children and the elderly.It is believed that 100 people a year die from melanoma in Ireland every year. With an increase in heat waves, there also needs to be an increase in awareness.
Just taking a glance at Ireland’s weather forecast over the next few days proves things are getting warmer. Whether or not we will have heat wave number 8 this Summer is left to be seen.