Tuesday, November 11, 2014

World-wide Causes of Death from Climate Change to the Mid 21st century

Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s (128 page pdf, Editors: Simon Hales, Sari Kovats, Simon Lloyd, Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, World Health Organization, Sep. 21, 2014)

Also discussed here: Quantitative risk assessment of the effects of climate change on selected causes of death, 2030s and 2050s (Press Release, WHO, Sep. 21, 2014)

Today we review an updated estimate of the impact of climate change on health by the World Health Organization. Not including deaths from extreme events, the WHO estimates that an additional 241,000 deaths per year by 2030 (rising to 250,000 /yr to 2050) will be caused by climate change impacts that include under-nutrition of children, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress for the elderly. The greatest impacts geographically are in southeast Asia and India with significant impacts also in central and southeast Africa and southeast USA. Because of sea level rise brought about by climate warming and sea ice melt, coastal floods caused by cyclones. While reductions in emissions and mitigation may reduce some of the impacts, deaths from heat exposure and stress are expected to continue to rise above 100,000/yr by 2050. world map excessive deaths  

Key Quotes:

 “Global climate-health models were developed for a range of health outcomes known to be sensitive to climate change: heat-related mortality in elderly people, mortality associated with
  • coastal flooding…
  • diarrhoeal disease in children…
  • malaria ..
  • dengue ..
  • undernutrition (stunting) ..”
  “Around 120 million people are exposed to coastal floods associated with tropical cyclones and storm surges each year, causing an estimated 250 000 deaths between 1980 and 2000.. In the future, climate change is expected to worsen coastal flood hazards through sea-level rise …and an anticipated increase in the intensity (but not frequency) of cyclone events”

“Compared with a future without climate change, the following additional deaths are projected for the year 2030: 38 000 due to heat exposure in elderly people, 48 000 due to diarrhoea, 60 000 due to malaria, and 95 000 due to childhood undernutrition.”

 “climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year between 2030 and 2050” “by the 2050s, deaths related to heat exposure (over 100 000 per year) are projected to increase.”

“Under a base case socioeconomic scenario, we estimate approximately 250 000 additional deaths due to climate change per year between 2030 and 2050.”

“avoiding climate-sensitive health risks is an additional reason to mitigate climate change, alongside the immediate health benefits that are expected to accrue from measures to reduce climate pollutants, for example through lower levels of particulate air pollution”

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