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Climatic changes are already causing more than 150,000 deaths annually

July 10, 2008 • Climate Change & Mitigation, News

Climate change is already affecting public health across the globe. The World Health Organization estimates that climatic changes are already causing more than 150,000 deaths annually and substantial losses in quality of life due to diarrheal disease, malaria, malnutrition, and flooding. And the health impacts from climate change will likely increase over time.

Some of these anticipated health impacts include:

* Asthma and allergic diseases are likely to worsen. Warmer temperatures favor the formation of ozone, which aggravates asthma; higher CO2 and other climate changes may increase allergenic pollen formation.ii,iii,iv

* Food and water-borne disease could increase. Climate-related increases in natural disasters and warmer ambient temperatures could increase the burden of food- and water-borne diarrheal diseases.

* Increased extreme weather events will directly impact health. More frequent and severe heat waves,v,vi hurricanes, wildfires, and floods will cause deaths and injury.vii Contact with contaminated floodwater,viii and displacement contribute to additional morbidity and mortality.

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