`Study: Climate Change Continues to Threaten Global Health - Olive Oil Times

Study: Climate Change Continues to Threaten Global Health

By Daniel Dawson
Nov. 9, 2022 16:05 UTC

The fate of human health around the globe is at the mercy of a per­sis­tent fos­sil fuel addic­tion,” accord­ing to a report pub­lished in The Lancet, a lead­ing med­ical jour­nal.

The 99 researchers involved in the report con­cluded that gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor reliance on fos­sil fuels had exac­er­bated food inse­cu­rity, increased the spread of infec­tious dis­eases and made heat-related ill­nesses more preva­lent.

There has been a ten­dency to put cli­mate change on the back burner. If we are not able to reverse the present trend, we will be doomed.- António Guterres, sec­re­tary-gen­eral, United Nations

The report warned that the costs of cli­mate change inac­tion on global health would com­pile those of the Covid-19 pan­demic, cur­rent armed con­flicts and macro­eco­nomic chal­lenges.

The experts found that heat­waves resulted in 98 mil­lion more peo­ple report­ing mod­er­ate to medium food inse­cu­rity in 2020 com­pared to the aver­age of the 30-year period end­ing in 2010.

See Also:Editors from 200 Health Journals Warn Climate Change Is Creating Global Health Crises

They said that 29 per­cent more land area was affected by extreme drought from 2012 to 2021 than in the same period 70 years before, which has increased food and water inse­cu­rity, threat­ened san­i­ta­tion, exac­er­bated wild­fires and raised the risk of infec­tious dis­eases spread­ing.

The report also found that ris­ing annual aver­age tem­per­a­tures have elon­gated the breed­ing sea­son for mos­qui­tos, increas­ing the trans­mis­sion of dengue, yel­low fever and the par­a­site that causes heart­worm by more than 10 per­cent in the past 10 years com­pared to the same period 70 years ago.

The researchers added that cli­mate change has also expanded the geo­graphic range for these types of dis­eases as well as food-borne and water­borne dis­eases.

The report fur­ther found that heat-related deaths have increased by two-thirds since 2001. The experts pointed out that extreme heat has a range of health impacts, such as aggra­vat­ing res­pi­ra­tory and car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases, increas­ing heat stroke and hurt­ing men­tal health.

While the report painted a grim pic­ture, the authors fin­ished with an opti­mistic call to action and said imme­di­ate steps to lower emis­sions would still save mil­lions of lives. However, they warned that this would require a greatly accel­er­ated tran­si­tion away from fos­sil fuels.

Meanwhile, a sep­a­rate report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released right after the Lancet report high­lighted the extent of the chal­lenge pre­sented by fos­sil fuel extrac­tions.

The WMO found that atmos­pheric con­cen­tra­tions of the three main green­house gases reached record highs in 2021, indi­cat­ing the burn­ing of fos­sil fuels con­tin­ued to increase despite sub­stan­tial invest­ment in renew­able energy over the past decade.

António Guterres, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the United Nations, told the BBC that the global com­mu­nity must re-pri­or­i­tize cli­mate change despite the dis­trac­tions cre­ated by the Russian inva­sion of Ukraine, the global energy cri­sis and ram­pant infla­tion.

There has been a ten­dency to put cli­mate change on the back burner,” he said. If we are not able to reverse the present trend, we will be doomed.”

This is the defin­ing issue of our time, nobody has the right to sac­ri­fice inter­na­tional action on cli­mate change for any rea­son,” Guterres con­cluded.


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