Climatic Change

, Volume 92, Issue 3–4, pp 299–341 | Cite as

Associations between elevated atmospheric temperature and human mortality: a critical review of the literature

  • Simon N. GoslingEmail author
  • Jason A. Lowe
  • Glenn R. McGregor
  • Mark Pelling
  • Bruce D. Malamud


The effects of the anomalously warm European summer of 2003 highlighted the importance of understanding the relationship between elevated atmospheric temperature and human mortality. This review is an extension of the brief evidence examining this relationship provided in the IPCC’s Assessment Reports. A comprehensive and critical review of the literature is presented, which highlights avenues for further research, and the respective merits and limitations of the methods used to analyse the relationships. In contrast to previous reviews that concentrate on the epidemiological evidence, this review acknowledges the inter-disciplinary nature of the topic and examines the evidence presented in epidemiological, environmental health, and climatological journals. As such, present temperature–mortality relationships are reviewed, followed by a discussion of how these are likely to change under climate change scenarios. The importance of uncertainty, and methods to include it in future work, are also considered.


Heat Wave Diurnal Temperature Range Summer Mortality Mortality Relationship Mortality Displacement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon N. Gosling
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jason A. Lowe
    • 2
  • Glenn R. McGregor
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark Pelling
    • 1
  • Bruce D. Malamud
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.The Met Office Hadley CentreExeterUK
  3. 3.School of Geography, Geology and Environmental ScienceThe University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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