Photo by: Flickr user Pedro Albuquerque

Climate Change and Health in Kuwait

06/14/2022 | Environmental Research Letters

In the summer of 2016, a temperature of 54°C was measured in Mitribah, Kuwait, which was one of the highest temperatures ever recorded in recent history. By mid-century, the average temperature in Kuwait is predicted to increase by 1.80°C- 2.57°C, compared to 2000-2009. By the end of the century, we could see an increase of up to 5.54°C.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and colleagues have published a study in Environmental Research Letters looking at the potential for heat-related deaths in Kuwait.

This is the first quantitative assessment of climate change and country-specific temperature-mortality projections in an inherently hot and hyper-arid area in the Arabian Peninsula.

Key takeaways

  • There is a need for greater occupational protections for heat exposure to protect migrant workers.
  • By the end of the century, climate change could increase the number of heat-related deaths by 5.1% to 11.7%. For every 100 deaths in Kuwait, 13.6 could be attributed to heat driven by climate change.
  • Vulnerable people, like migrant workers, are at particularly high risk from climate-related heat impacts. Heat-related deaths could increase by more than 15% in the distant future for non-Kuwaitis.

Read the study

Authors

“Climate change and health in Kuwait: temperature and mortality projections under different climatic scenarios” was authored by Barrak Alahmad, Ana Maria Vicedo-Cabrera, Kai Chen, Eric Garshick, Aaron S Bernstein, Joel Schwartz, and Petros Koutrakis. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac7601

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Headshot of Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Credit Michael Goderre/Boston Children’s Hospital

Aaron Bernstein MD, MPH

Aaron examines the human health effects of global environmental changes with the aim of promoting a deeper understanding of these subjects among students, educators, policy makers, and the public.

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