Study finds heatwaves killed hundreds of Israelis since 2012
Israel is warming at twice the global average and is considered especially vulnerable to climate change
Hundreds of Israelis died due to heatwaves over the past decade, according to a study published on Tuesday.
The study, led by Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry and Tel Aviv University, was launched after Haaretz reported last July that some 150 people died during a 2020 heatwave.
From 2012 to 2020, researchers found that 363 Israelis died during eight different heatwaves – a dramatic increase from the average number of deaths in the three years prior.
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Rapid rises in temperature impair the body’s ability to regulate its temperature, which can lead to heatstroke and dehydration or even severe kidney damage or heart failure, according to the World Health Organization.
Climate change is causing the number of heatwaves to increase in the Middle East and north Africa region. Israel’s Meteorological Service warned that in the next 30 years, most Israeli cities will notice a jump in the number of days reaching temperature highs of over 93 degrees Fahrenheit.
In 2016, the Israeli weather agency found that there was a “significant and sharp increase" in the frequency of heatwaves in recent decades, Haaretz reported.
Israel is warming at twice the global average and is considered especially vulnerable to global warming and the climate crisis.
Last month was one of Israel’s three warmest Aprils over the past 70 years, last year was one of the hottest in the state since the 1950s, and the past decade was the hottest ever.