Extreme temperatures come at a high price

A study prepared at the University of Bern shows in detail for the first time how heat in Switzerland has increasingly led to high death rates over the past 50 years. The combination of climate change and an aging population, it concludes, will become a major source of problems in the future.

The effect that global warming is having on Switzerland is becoming increasingly apparent. A study by the University of Bern published in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” in March 2022 shows in detail how the number of additional deaths attributable to the heat and the cold has changed over the past 50 years. The study concludes that the number of deaths that could be associated with heat have increased sharply. In the 1970s, this amounted to 78 deaths per year; in the decade 2000-2010, there were more than 300. The cantons of Geneva, Zurich and Basel, as well as Ticino, were most affected by this higher mortality rate.