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Why the United States undercounts climate-driven deaths

Summary

A report by Grist discusses the underestimation of climate-related deaths in the United States, highlighting that the country's death surveillance system is ill-equipped to handle the impacts of climate change. The article focuses on the challenges of accurately counting heat-related deaths in places like Maricopa County, Arizona, where heat-associated mortality is often underreported. It also points out that the full extent of climate-related deaths often becomes evident only months or even years after a disaster. Researchers argue that the existing death surveillance system was not designed to cope with the effects of climate change. The article suggests that the U.S. needs better ways to monitor and report climate-related deaths to understand the true health impacts of climate change and take preventive measures. However, obstacles such as limited resources, training, and political priorities hinder progress in this area, leaving many climate-related deaths uncounted and unaddressed.

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