United Nations study: climate change threatens the health

Why global warming is so harmful for your heart and kidneys

HOURS OF WORK: Rising temperatures are also an occupational health hazard.

"... The report, published Wednesday in the public health journal The Lancet, incorporates the work of [27 global institutions, including United Nations agencies, ] and follows a major climate assessment issued last week by the United States government".

India has witnessed an increase of 40 million in the number of people exposed to heatwaves from 2012 to 2016 (including both years), according to The Lancet Countdown report on health and climate change, which termed the surge an imminent danger to health.

Additional coverage of The Lancet report is available from The Guardian, Reuters, and Thomson Reuters Foundation. The risk in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean stems from aging populations living in cities, with 42% and 43% of over-65s respectively vulnerable to heat. "We're talking about not just maintaining disease levels, we're talking about our ability to provide health care", Dr. Courtney Howard who participated in the new research. This is what we typically do with the regional and local GAINS model: "giving advice to policymakers on the most efficient approaches to tackle air pollution in their specific settings", says Kiesewetter.

From 2014-2017, the average length of heatwaves in India ranged from 3-4 days compared to the global average of 0.8-1.8 days, and Indians were exposed to nearly 60 million heatwave exposure events in 2016, a jump of about 40 million from 2012, the report released Thursday showed. This heat is linked to dehydration, infections, heart disease, air pollution and also mental health problems, the experts add.

Excessive heat led to 153 billion hours of labor lost worldwide previous year, an increase of 62 billion hours from 2000. This led to 1.1 billion hours of labour. Increasing heat waves can cause heat stroke and more pollen aggravating allergies and asthma and contributing to forest fires. Despite a mean global temperature increase of 0.3°C between 1986 and 2017, the average temperature increase people were exposed to was more than double this (0.8°C). In high temperatures, outdoor work, especially in agriculture, is hazardous.

If people's efforts to stop climate change are not intensifying, the change to the world will be massive, and it will also result in more wars and migration as well. We see them jointly.

England and Wales, for instance, saw 700 more deaths than normal during a 15-day hot spell in June and July this year, Watts said.

A lack of progress globally in reducing emissions and with few countries putting in place national policies or infrastructure to adapt to the environmental changes of global warming puts human life at risk, the report warns. Following current trends we exhaust our carbon budget required to keep warming below two degrees, by 2032.

Other findings of the report include: a new indicator mapping extremes of precipitation that identifies South America and southeast Asia among the regions most exposed to flood and drought and, on food security, the report points to 30 countries experiencing downward trends in crop yields, reversing a decade-long trend that had previously seen global improvement.

The scientists concluded: "Taken as a whole, the indicators and data presented in The Lancet Countdown's 2018 report provide great cause for concern, with the pace of climate change outweighing the urgency of the response".

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