New research has found that over 150,000 people could die every year as a result of freak weather brought about by climate change by the end of the century.
Lead author Dr Giovanni Forzieri said: “Climate change is one of the biggest global threats to human health of the 21st century.
“Its peril to society will be increasingly connected to weather-driven hazards because extreme weather states are expected to disproportionately rise compared with changes in climate averages.”
The study by the European Commission scientists, predicts a stark increase in deaths from heatstroke, heart and breathing problems, and flash flooding.
“Global warming could result in rapidly rising costs of weather-related hazards to human beings in Europe unless adequate adaptation measures are taken,” the report warns.
Droughts are also predicted to lead to food shortages, illnesses, malnutrition, disease and an increased susceptibility to infection.
The new findings come at a time when southern Europe is covered by a heatwave, with temperatures reaching 44 degrees in some places.