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Report: Climate Change Threatens Global Health

    Report: Climate Change Threatens Global Health
    Last updated: 1 month ago
    Image credit: Getty Images [via BBC]

    Facts

    • The annual Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change report has warned that the world is edging closer to tipping points that will drive temperatures up and harm global health. Researchers based the results of the report on an examination of data from 103 countries. [1]
    • The publication, which includes the work of 99 experts from organizations such as the WHO and is led by University College London, says the world's continued reliance on fossil fuels is increasing the risk to the global population of food insecurity, infectious disease, and heat-related illness. [2]
    • The report found that temperature records were broken across the world in 2022 and that heat-related deaths have increased by two-thirds globally over the last two decades. [3]
    • However, the document also offered solutions to the issue, saying: "Despite the challenges, there is clear evidence that immediate action could still save the lives of millions, with a rapid shift to clean energy and energy efficiency." [3]
    • The news comes ahead of the upcoming COP27 meeting, which gathers 198 countries that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change committing them to act together to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations to a safe level. The event will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Nov. 6-18. [4]
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    Spin

    Narrative A

    Reports are increasingly clear — heat-related deaths worldwide have increased significantly since the start of the millennium, extreme heat is forcing millions across the globe into food poverty, and pollution is threatening the physical and mental wellbeing of the global population. Governments worldwide need to act to protect our health.

    Narrative B

    Despite claims that extreme weather poses a risk to global health, there has actually been a 92% decline in the per decade death toll from natural disasters since the 1920s. Rises in global temperature since industrialization have been relatively small and humans have proved their adaptability through new technology. Human health is not threatened by climate change, so long as populations have the resources to predict extreme weather and protect themselves from it.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 38% chance that large scale solar radiation management will be used to mitigate the effects of climate change in the 21st century, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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