Climate change affects health both directly (heat waves, extreme weather events) and indirectly (forced migration, longer time spent outdoors, increased use of cooling systems, mosquito related tropical diseases etc.).
The share of vulnerable population to heat waves increased by 5% in average between 1990 and 2019 (The Lancet - visit infographic for more details) and related deaths have also increased up to 77% compared to 1990 values (The Lancet - visit infographic for more details).
On the indirect effects of climate change, mosquito driven diseases such as dengue has seen widespread increased conditions of transmissibility in the 2016-2020 period compared to the 1950-1954 baseline, with considerably highest increases in Europe and, secondly, in North America (The Lancet - visit infographic for more details).
Although global warming may bring some localized benefits, such as fewer winter deaths in temperate climates and increased food production in certain areas, the overall health effects of a changing climate are overwhelmingly negative. Climate change affects many of the the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
According to the WHO, climate change could cause an additional 250,000 deaths each year from 2030 due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat waves. Health costs resulting directly from climate change are estimated at $ 2-4 billion per year by 2030.
Credit: Russell Watkins