Climate change is harming human health

A new report shows that climate change is triggering deadly events that are harming millions of people across the globe.
By Harry Marcolis | Nov 02, 2017
Climate change is triggering global events that are harmful to human health, according to new research published inThe Lancet.

This discovery comes from a team of international researchers, who found their data by analyzing 40 indicators of climate and health. That revealed global warming drives heat waves, helps the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, and causes crops to fail.

Scientists estimate that roughly 125 million vulnerable people were annually exposed to heat waves from 2000 to 2016. Not only that, but labor productivity among farm workers has dipped by 5.3 percent since 2000, andwarmer climates could make it easier for mosquitoes to spread dengue fever. The number ofundernourished people in 30 countries across Africa and Asia also rose from 398 million in 1990 to 422 million in 2016.

Though the research did not estimate the total number of deaths from climate change, past studies conducted by the World Health Organization estimate that global warming will lead to roughly 250,000 deaths a year between 2030 and 2050. By better understanding the cause behind those deaths, scientists hope to curb climate change and work to save countless lives.

"Our contribution with thematic working group 1 on Climate Change, Impacts, Exposure and Vulnerability mainly evolves around more comprehensive ways to measure and track disaster lethality," said study co-author Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson, a researcher at the University of Sussex, according to Phys.org. "We are in a way very fortunate to have spent plenty of time in the field, such as in Bangladesh and East and West Africa, talking to people who have faced environmental shocks through generations. This allows us to dig deeper to understand the processes and real life stories beneath current health statistics."

The team also found that the air in 87 percent of all cities exceeded pollution guidelines set by the World Health Organization. They hope their report will spur efforts to limit pollution and help people realize the danger of unhealthy air.

"Air pollution is in a way an old issue," said Johan Rockstrom, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre who was not involved in the study, according to Reuters. "But it's potentially coming to the forefront again as the most rapid vehicle to get action on climate change."

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