A study published this week estimates 60% of heat wave deaths in Switzerland in 2022 were the result of human-induced climate change.
The authors estimated that 370 of the 623 deaths due to heat between June and August 2022 were due to human-induced climate change. These additional deaths represent 3.5% of all deaths.
The estimate is based on calculating the number of deaths expected at temperatures adjusted for the effects of climate change and comparing this scenario to actual data.
Segments of the population most affected included older women in western and southern Switzerland and those in the urban areas of Geneva, Vaud, Zurich and Basel-City.
Close to 90% of heat related deaths occurred among people aged 65 or more. Women on an advanced age were especially vulnerable.
Public health authorities in Zurich and Basel had no systems or plans in place to deal with the risks. In western Switzerland and Ticino plans for coping with high temperatures were put in place after a heatwave in 2003.
Link to study (in English)