Climate change already damaging health of millions globally, report finds

The health of hundreds of millions of people around the world is already being damaged by climate change, according to a major new report from the Lancet.


The health of hundreds of millions of people around the world is already being damaged by climate change, according to a major new report from the Lancet.

Heatwaves are affecting many more vulnerable people, global warming is boosting the transmission of deadly diseases such as dengue fever, and damage to crops from extreme weather threatens hunger for millions of children.

Meanwhile, air pollution from fossil fuel burning is also causing millions of early deaths each year. Based on 40 indicators, the study said “the human symptoms of climate change are unequivocal and potentially irreversible,” the Associated Press reports.

One of the most striking of the 40 indicators was a huge increase in the number of people over 65 exposed to extreme heat, writes the Guardian, which rose 125 million between 2000 and 2016.

In addition, more than a billion people could be forced to flee their homes because of global warming, reports the Independent.

In a front-page story, the Daily Mail, focussed on the study’s findings on air pollution, warning that toxic air is killing people in nearly every part of the UK, with pollution levels in 43 of its largest towns and cities so high they breach global safety limits.

The Daily Mail also carried a second story on its second page covering the report, carrying the authors of the Lancet report’s warning that climate change is already harming millions of people around the world and will become the biggest health threat of the 21st century.

“This (report) is a huge wake-up call,” Christiana Figueres, chair of the Lancet Countdown’s high-level advisory board and the UN’ climate chief at the Paris summit, told Reuters. “The impacts of climate change are here and now.”

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