Medical Journals Warn That Climate Change Is The Greatest Threat to Public Health

Health professionals from The New England Journal of Medicine, the Medical Journal of Australia, the Chinese Science Bulletin, and the National Medical Journal of India, and more than 230 other medical journals have released a joint statement which claims that global warming will play a role in worsening health outcomes. If true, this claim will make climate change a public health concern rather than a mere environmental issue. According to medical experts, increases in temperature averages could lead to more heat-related deaths, tropical infections, and pregnancy complications.

Climate Change and Health

Global warming may make the spread of tropical diseases more common. Heightened temperatures could in theory cause disease-carrying insects, such as mosquitos, to migrate from their confined tropical existence into equally suitable regions. The mosquitos of Central and South America, are thought to have migrated further north cause of heightened temperatures in and around the United States.

Global temperatures have risen by an estimated 0.08 degrees Celsius per decade (since 1880) and some deaths have already been loosely associated with climate change. Wildfires, heat waves, and tropical storms are all regarded as natural disasters that are potentially amplified by climate change.

Emergency Action On Climate Change and Tipping Points

The authors of the joint statement have posited that the effects of climate change may reach irreversible points shortly. Climatological tipping points may not be far behind. Tipping points refer to thresholds of climate and temperature that, when exceeded, set off chain reactions that bring about different states within a climate system. Tipping points are also known as ‘points of no return’.

Climate change’s reach is already being felt in nutrition, rates of disease, the habitability of certain regions, and mortality rates. To limit the extent to which public wellbeing suffers, policymakers and world leaders will need to prioritize a) drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions: which will limit average global temperature increases b) protecting and enhancing ecosystems, such as forests, peatlands, wetlands, tropical forests, freshwater systems, grasslands, savannas, some polar habitats, and coastal ecosystems. Protecting and enhancing ecosystems improve their resiliency to climate change.

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