Climate Change Is Now Making a Major Impact on Global Health

5/19/19 -A devastating heat wave swept across Europe in 2003, killing tens of thousands of people, scientists estimate. Many were elderly, with limited mobility, and some already suffered from chronic diseases. But climate change is making such extreme weather more common—and the effects will not be limited to the old and sick. Warming temperatures do not only threaten lives directly. They also cause billions of hours of lost labor, enhance conditions for the spread of infectious diseases and reduce crop yields.

Warmer temperatures have increased the geographical ranges of organisms that spread dengue fever, malaria and cholera. The “vectorial capacity”—a measure of how easily a disease carrier can transmit a pathogen—of dengue virus, which is spread by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, reached a record high in 2016. The percentage of coastline suitable for bacteria in the Vibrio genus

“Overall, the report does suggest very serious concerns about the way in which climate change is evolving and its potential implications for human health,” says Andy Haines, a professor of environmental change and public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine