The Deadliest U.S. Natural Hazard: Extreme ColdPosted: August 10, 2016
There’s a new essay from Indur Goklany in response to a recent Reuters news article.
Yesterday Reuters reported on a study which claimed that heat is the deadliest form of natural hazard for the United States. However, this result is based on questionable data. The study used results for mortality from extreme heat and cold that can be traced to the National Climatic Data Center. But these data are substantially different from mortality data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) based on the Compressed Mortality File for the United States. The latter uses death certificate records, which provide the cause of each recorded death (based on medical opinion). It is reasonable to believe that regarding the cause of death, particularly for extreme cold and heat, medical opinion as captured in death certificate records is more reliable than determinations made by the meteorologists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s NCDC (even if they have Ph.Ds.).
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