Heatwave ALERT: Study warns future heatwaves could kill MILLIONS

The UK is sweltering on what the Met Office has described as the hottest day of August this year. The weather forecaster has warned people not to be caught out by the record-breaking temperatures, with the mercury expected to top 37C (100F).

And a new study has warned how ever-rising summer temperatures could soon spell death sentences for millions of people.

Scientists at the National Bureau of Economic Research have published findings suggesting future heat waves could become deadly if greenhouse emissions are not curbed.

Researchers compared heatwave-related deaths in several countries with future forecasts to understand their correlation.

They found excessive heat is one of the deadliest types of extreme weather.

As well as deaths directly attributed to heat stress or strokes, heat can kill people indirectly.

These can range from the body being pushed to its limits to keep cool.

When this happens, it can cause ailments including heart attacks.

As a result, heatwave victims will likely be the elderly or others with underlying conditions.

Previous research indicates heatwaves can be deadly, especially when people lack the resources to deal with excessive temperatures.

Heatwaves are also known to be far more extreme in hotter parts of the world, such as equatorial countries.

The study cites areas of the Middle East currently experiencing temperatures as high as 51C (125F).

The researchers reached their alarming conclusion after examining heat-related mortality deaths for eight countries as well as the European Union, representing different periods of time and different heat waves.

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They also used data estimating exactly how hot the world will get by the end of this century.

The researchers then created models able to project how many people would die due to heat by the end of this century.

They reached the conclusion future heatwaves could kill approximately 73 people per 100,000 if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace, by 2100.

Another worrying confusion was the hottest parts of the planet could experience as many as 200 deaths per 100,000 by the end of the century.

And they also noted most deaths affect those most at risk.

These include the poor, elderly people living in the hottest parts of the world.

Without air-conditioning – a technology itself blamed for contributing to global warming – those most at risk have little defence against ever-increasing brutal temperatures.

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