Mortality and other costs of climate change

Mortality from climate change

Two studies have estimated how many climate related deaths will happen as a result of CO2 emitted. Both estimates were around one climate death for each 4,000 tonnes CO2 emitted.

Loss of habitable land due to heat

Information comes from a study of unprecedented heat [4]. Some key conclusions are that

Biodiversity loss

As global warming worsens, the effects get more severe. For example, the SR15 report (reference [5], p179) explains that multiple lines of evidence indicate that the majority (70-90%) of warm water (tropical) coral reefs that exist today will disappear even if global warming is limited to 1.5°C.


[1]The mortality cost of carbon (2021)
[2]Three Americans create enough carbon emissions to kill one person, study finds (2021)
[3]The Human Cost of Anthropogenic Global Warming: Semi-Quantitative Prediction and the 1,000-Tonne Rule (2019)
[4]Lenton et al (2023) Quantifying the human cost of global warming Nature Sustainability
[5]IPCC SR15 report: Chapter 3: Impacts of 1.5°C of Global Warming on Natural and Human Systems (2019)

First published: 15 Apr 2023
Last updated: 19 Sep 2023