The hot record kills. The very high temperatures of this scorching summer are causing in Italy a excess mortality higher than the season numbers of previous years. To say it is the Ministry of Health in the latest bulletin of the Heat Wave Surveillance System.
According to the data of the dicastery headed by Roberto Speranza in the first two weeks of July there was an excess of the mortality of 21%, for a total of 733 deaths in the 33 Italian cities monitored. Even in June the deaths had been higher than the common one, with an increase in mortality of 9% which had already been considered by the experts worrying.
Record heat, worsening trend
The trend, therefore, is of an increasingly increasing mortality, with the risk of seeing a further deterioration for the period between the end of July and the first days of August. The figure is in line with other European countries: almost everywhere, in Old Worldmortality has been exceptionally high since May, although all numbers will need to be revised a September to precisely identify heat-related deaths and those due to other causes, starting from Covidbut not only.
The cities most affected
From 1 to 15 July, however, the greatest increase in mortality was seen in the Center-South. In particular, the most affected cities were: Latina (+ 72%), Bari (+ 56%), Viterbo (+ 52%), Cagliari (+ 51%), Catanzaro (+ 48%). The Laziotherefore, it is particularly affected by the increase in deaths.
According to the ministry bulletin, then, starting from May they registered temperatures above the seasonal average of over 3 degrees centigrade (precisely 3.2) across the country. Between the end of June and the beginning of July, maximum temperature peaks ranging from 37-40 degreesas it happened again at the end of July.
The situation, however, should improve in the coming days. In fact, weather forecasts indicate that Europe should begin to see the end of the heatwaves. This week, however, the scorching temperatures they will continue in the North and West of the Continent.
“New pathogens at sea”
Meanwhile from a research published in the journal Global Change Biologyin which the CNR participated, it emerges that the record temperatures due to global warming are causing a real massacre of fish and corals in the Mediterranean.
Between 2015 and 2019 the heat waves caused mass mortality events in 50 different marine species such as corals, sponges, macroalgae and even fish. According to the research these phenomena interested thousands of kilometers of Mediterranean coastsfrom the Alboran Sea to the eastern coasts, between the surface and 45 meters deep.
“Unfortunately– explains Ernesto Azzurro, researcher at Cnr-Irbim- the results of the work show for the first time an acceleration of the ecological impacts associated with climate changes, an unprecedented threat to the health and functioning of its ecosystems. Also of concern is the interaction between heating and the presence of new pathogens in marine environments with still little effect