• wintertime in NYC's Central Park

wintertime in NYC's Central Park (Photo : Reuters)

A new global warming study provided shocking results, revealing the long-held conventional wisdom that winter death rates would increase due to climate change's effects is a wrong assumption. The new research was conducted over three decades and included 39 international cities, mostly in the United States.

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Columbia University conducted the new global warming research by examining climate temperatures from 1971 to 2007, according to Pioneer News. It tested the popular belief by comparing the average temps with fatality rates in 36 U.S. cities and three major towns in France.   

The study results were eye-popping. Over the period of 36 years, while global temperatures increased at a steady rate, the number of deaths did not change.

It might seem like a silver lining in today's global warming news stories.  For example, one could assume that fewer people are dying in wintertime, despite the sky-rocketing rate of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, floods, and droughts.

Professor Patrick Kinney was the study's lead researcher. He said that such an assumption would be a wrong guess for anyone to make.

Kinney's global warming study found almost no connection between outdoor temperatures and winter deaths.  Based on the amazing findings of his research team, he said that it is "unlikely" that warmer winters caused by climate change will result in big drops in wintertime deaths.

Other possible explanations could exist. The study results could be caused by different demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, and city designs, which can all affect winter time deaths, according to Morning Ticker.

However, lifestyle changes, rather than weather factors could be the cause in the increase in deaths during winter. For example, staying indoors can increase the spread of diseases such as influenza, thus causing death rates to spike.

People also move around less in winter time. The global warming study showed that this can worsen their general health and boost the risks of obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Kinney stated that for years he had long held a personal curiosity about whether or not a link between climate change and winter death rates was fact or fiction. So he did theory testing.