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Why global warming will save 912 lives in Birmingham

The ice caps are melting, the polar bear faces extinction and London could end up as a giant aquarium but there is some good news emerging from climate change - deaths are predicted to fall in the West Midlands.

By Ian Quinn

The ice caps are melting, the polar bear faces extinction and London could end up as a giant aquarium but there is some good news emerging from climate change - deaths are predicted to fall in the West Midlands.

Hats off award for swimming against the tide of popular concern must go this week to Paul Fisher, an environmental public health scientist with the Health Protection Agency, who, while many have been sweating over the fate of the globe, has taken a closer-to-home approach.

Mr Fisher has spent months analysing temperature population death rates and climate change projections for the West Midlands.

His study, focusing on the direct effects of temperature, estimates that by the 2020s death rates in the region could drop by 0.3 per cent in winter and by 0.8 per cent in the summer - which combined should mean a fall in the total number of deaths in the West Midlands of about 255 a year.

Doing the math, he works out that by 2080 the West Midlands will record 912 fewer deaths directly linked to temperature. That's of course assuming the world has not ended by then..

Mr Fisher said of his study that the ‘issue is hugely complex' adding ‘it does not follow that the findings could be applied wider than for the West Midlands.'

Sorry polar bears.

All aglow: the West Midlands All aglow: the West Midlands

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