Climate change threatens the health — United Nations study

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Climate change threatens the health — United Nations study

"APHA strongly supports the key concerns and need for action expressed in the report", said the group's executive director Georges Benjamin, M.D., in a statement.

The increased risk and severity of devastating heavy rainfall, flooding, droughts and wildfires is starting to affect peoples' access to food, with the world's poorest being hardest hit.

"We are lagging well behind other countries in our response to climate change". It is behind other nations such as Germany and Britain in terms of protection of populations from the effects of climate change.

Transport is responsible for numerous air pollution problems of urban areas, and levels are generally getting worse.

"As taking action on climate change to protect health has become ever more urgent, Australian media coverage of the issue has halved over the past decade".

The report on the health impacts of climate change, published Wednesday in The Lancet, concludes that successfully tackling climate change would be the single biggest thing governments can do to improve human health this century. The World Health Organization and the World Bank are also involved in the research.

Experts also noted that the heat will threaten food security, safe drinking water, and clean air. Beggs stated that Australia once led the world in usage of renewable energy sources but now lags behind others. There are spikes in heat wave related morbidity and mortality.

The publication also outlined that climate change is likely to impact Australia's economy.

"The fourth edition of the report gathers in one place the undeniable body of science that shows public health is harmed right now by the advance of climate change".

Renee Salas, an emergency room doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States and an author of the report, said she recently treated a 30-year-old man felled by heatstroke while trying to work two construction jobs.

"This is despite strong public desire to do something meaningful about climate change".

"I think this is an area we need to focus on", one of the report's co-authors Associate Professor Paul Beggs, from Macquarie University, told AAP. If left unabated climate change will overwhelm even the strongest of systems, so reducing greenhouse gas emissions is critical. 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.

157m more vulnerable people were subjected to a heatwave in 2017 than in 2000, and 18m more than in 2016.

Between 2010, and 2016, air pollution concentrations worsened in nearly 70% of cities around the globe, particularly in low-income and middle-income countries.

IIASA researcher Gregor Kiesewetter led a team from the Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases research program that estimated the dangers of air pollution to human health. The Lancet Countdown report says that 12.3 million more people experienced a heat wave in 2016 than in 2000 in America. In addition there is a rise in vectors carrying illnesses like malaria, Zika, dengue etc. leading to outbreaks. Increasing heat waves can cause heat stroke and more pollen aggravating allergies and asthma and contributing to forest fires.

In an accompanying editorial with the report it says, "Today's babies, by adulthood, will live on a planet without an Arctic".

"If you do what we are publishing, you end up seeing that populations are ageing, they are migrating and they are growing into the areas worst affected by climate change". "We see them coming at communities all at the same time". That report was met with denial by President Donald Trump who said he did not believe the assessment that unchecked global warming would wreak havoc on the USA economy.

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