Climate ChangeEnvironmentGlobal HealthOne Health

Climate Change to Worsen in 2018

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW AND BERNICE BORN

(Archived story. Original version is here.)

The ill effects of climate change are not about to disappear anytime soon. 

In fact, our period now is the warmest in the history of modern civilization, according to the Climate Science Special Report released in November 2017 by 13 U.S. federal agencies. The report goes on to state that the last few years have also seen record-breaking, climate-related weather extremes, and that it is very likely that human activities, especially emissions of greenhouse gases, are the dominant cause of the warming observed since the mid-20th century.

Not only the planet but also its inhabitants suffer from climate change. The World Health Organization states that environmental factors are a root cause of a significant disease burden, particularly in developing countries. An estimated 25% of death and disease globally, and nearly 35% in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, is linked to environmental hazards. That’s an average of 12.6 million deaths every year. Environmental risk factors include unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene, as well as the impact of infectious diseases such as malaria. 

WiRED International supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) One Health, which recognizes that human health is connected to the health of animals and the health of the environment. The goal of One Health is to encourage the collaborative efforts of experts, such as disease detectives, laboratory workers, physicians and veterinarians, working across multiple disciplines to improve the health of people and animals, including pets, livestock and wildlife. WiRED will continue to report on climate change and how it impacts global health.

Effects of Climate Change

Escalating incidences of:

  • Carbon pollution
  • Deforestation
  • Disease 
  • Drought
  • Extreme high temperatures and precipitation
  • Heat waves
  • Global and regional sea levels rising and warming and oceans becoming more acidic 
  • Intensity of tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes
  • Large wildfires
  • Loss of animal habitats
  • Malnutrition, food contamination
  • Polar ice melting, land loss

Sources: Climate Science Special ReportFourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume INational Institutes of Health and World Wildlife Federation

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