‘The Maine Question’ asks how climate impacted number of WWI, Spanish flu casualties – P. Mayewski & A. More

Did the climate affect how many people died during World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic in Europe? Find out in Episode 7 of Season 3 of “The Maine Question” podcast.

Alex More and Paul Mayewski from the Climate Change Institute say that a once-in-a-century climate deviation that resulted in incessant torrential rain and cold air over Europe from 1914 to 1919 likely increased the number of people who died during World War I (22 million) and the Spanish flu pandemic (50 million).

The colleagues connected data from climate science, history and public health to make the discovery.

They say the climate anomaly may have been caused by dust and explosives from the war that cooled the local atmosphere and formed nuclei for precipitation.

As we anticipate another wave of COVID-19, More says we should be mindful of the interconnectedness of human-caused climate change, environmental conditions and disease.