Global warming will increase heat-related death and disease

Why global warming is so harmful for your heart and kidneys

"Health care professionals see first-hand the devastating health impacts of our changing climate".

"That's the thing that really keeps me up at night", said Nick Watts, executive director of The Lancet Countdown, an annual report tracking connections between public health and climate change.

As expected, heat waves, forest fires, massive storms are causing more deaths and long-term illness than anything else, but there's not enough data to see exactly how many.

Wildfires, similarly, hurt and uproot people, but also dramatically worsen air pollution in broad areas. The World Health Organization and the World Bank are also involved in the research.

"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".

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) joins the Canadian Public Health Association (CPHA) in calling for the implementation of the Canada-specific recommendations presented in the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.

More than 150 million vulnerable people worldwide were exposed to potentially life-threatening heatwaves past year, scientists said Thursday, warning that climate change posed an unprecedented global health risk.

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In 2017, 153 billion hours of labour were lost due to heat exposure, an increase of 62 billion hours since 2000. "Rapidly phasing out coal, oil and gas; switching from auto trips to more walking, cycling and public transport; healthier diets lower in red meat and dairy; and energy efficient, warm homes will all cut emissions while also reducing numerous major diseases that kill New Zealanders".

The report advises the Chinese government to take heed of working hours lost to heat because of its effect on health and economic productivity. Europe and the eastern Mediterranean are more vulnerable than Africa and southeast Asia, most likely due to ageing populations living in cities - 42 per cent of Europeans and 43 per cent of people in the eastern Mediterranean are aged over 65 and vulnerable to heat exposure, compared with 38 per cent in Africa and 34 per cent in southeast Asia. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Europe experienced its hottest weather in more than a decade.

It involves 27 leading academic institutions, the United Nations, and intergovernmental agencies from every continent, drawing on expertise from climate scientists, ecologists, mathematicians, geographers, engineers, energy, food, livestock, and transport experts, economists, social and political scientists, public health professionals, and doctors. "We've long known that the scope of medicine extends outside the exam room, but this report calls on doctors to recognize that it extends to our climate", she said.

It also found that small changes in temperature and rainfall can result in large changes in the transmission of certain infectious diseases spread via water and mosquitoes, such as cholera, malaria and dengue fever. Ebi, of the University of Washington, said rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are shrinking nutrients in cereal crops, hiking the risk of malnutrition even for those who get enough to eat.

"Tasmania may have to brace itself as increasing numbers of Australians head south to avoid extreme heat", she said.

Acting swiftly to curb climate change - whether by switching to clean energy, or getting more people to walk and use bicycles - would lower healthcare costs by the same amount of money needed to reduce emissions, Ebi said.

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