Friday, December 7, 2018

Lancet reports climate change is a 'medical emergency'

Amongst all the news of Trump disbelieving the National Climate Assessment, the U.N. climate conference in Poland, and U.S. life expectancy dropping for a third straight year, the Lancet published a report on the effects of climate change on human health, which touches on all three topics.  USA Today summarized it in a video: Climate change turning into ‘medical emergency,’ experts say.

Human-caused climate change is turning into a “medical emergency” that could result in death and disease for millions, according to British medical journal, The Lancet.
Researchers from Colorado State University contributed to the report and summarized its main findings as well.
Some of the new health impacts of heat documented in The 2018 Report of The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change include:
  • 157 million more vulnerable people were subjected to a heatwave last year than in 2000, and 18 million more than in 2016.
  • 153 billion hours of work were lost in 2017 due to extreme heat as a result of climate change. China alone lost 21 billion hours, the equivalent of a year’s work for 1.4% of their working population. India lost 75 billion hours, equivalent to 7% of their total working population. New methodologies have captured this data for the first time.
  • Rising ambient temperatures are placing vulnerable populations at increased risks across all regions of the world. Europe and the East Mediterranean are particularly at risk, most likely due to ageing populations living in cities, with 42% and 43% of over 65s vulnerable to heat exposure. Markedly higher than Africa (38%) and southeast Asia (34%).
  • Heat greatly exacerbates urban air pollution, with 97% of cities in low- and middle- income countries not meeting WHO air quality guidelines.
  • Heat stress, an early and severe effect of climate change, is commonplace and we, and the health systems we rely on, are ill equipped to cope.
  • Rising temperatures and unseasonable warmth is responsible for cholera and dengue fever spreading, with vectorial capacity for their transmission increasing across many endemic areas.
  • The mean global temperature change to which humans are exposed is more than double the global average change, with temperatures rising 0·8°C versus 0·3°C.
To read the report at The Lancet, click here.

Speaking of climate change, health, and safety, the death toll for the California's Camp and Woolsey fires is now 88, 85 for the Camp Fire and 3 for the Woolsey FireWelcome to the 400 ppm world.

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