Climate change has long been known for destroying animal habitats, ruining ecosystems, melting glaciers and ice sheets in the Arctic, rendering crops useless, causing unfavorable weather conditions, leaving small communities living in the Arctic without a clean source of water, and so on.
But a new report written by the Health and Climate Change Commission now reveals that climate change also threatens to crush the medical progress that the scientific community has made in the past 50 years, successfully endangering many human lives.
The report, published earlier today (June 23, 2015), in the journal The Lancet, had 45 different experts from China and various European countries investigating the issue together.
Their findings back up a previous study conducted in 2009, with the conclusion being that the continuous warming of the planet would lead to a massive global health threat, most likely the biggest one to be recorded in the 21st century.
The authors warn that “The implications of climate change for a global population of 9 billion people threatens to undermine the last half century of gains in development and global health”. They stress that future projections how an unacceptably high and likely catastrophic risk to the health of human beings.
One of the most obvious factors that threaten human health is extreme heat. The authors inform that they found a strong link between extremely hot weather and morbidity and mortality among human beings due to how climate change affects multiple places.
They reference the Russian summer of 2010, saying that not only did heat lead to poor air quality, it was also responsible for causing 11.000 more heart-related deaths than in the years before 2010.
Exposure to extreme temperatures is also known to cause mental problems such as depression, post-traumatic stress and anxiety.
Ian Hamilton, co-author and professor at the University College London, gave a statement explaining that outdoors workers are in the most dangerous position. He says that there’s a certain limit to how much people can work in the heat. He points at India and shares that thousands of locals have died recently due to heat stress.
The news is that much worse since last year alone temperatures rose by 0.85 percent (0.85%), making it the hottest on record. And climate scientists have been warning for a while now that an increase of just 2 degrees Celsius would have devastating consequences.
Other factors dangerous to human health are experiencing extreme whether events, the increasing number of droughts, and the chance of vector-borne diseases (such as the West Nile Virus and the Hantavirus) expanding their ranges.
The authors do offer a glimmer of hope in the event that we actively start taking measures to cut the emission of greenhouse gases and prevent this catastrophe from happening.
Not only would such a course of action significantly reduce the dangers posed by climate change it were to emerge successful, but by cleaning the air and reducing particulate pollution, we would be saving lives. Particulate pollution causes respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and killed seven (7) million more people globally in 2012 than ever before.
Image Source: planetsave.com