According to a report, experts found that climate change causes spread of diseases and worse mental health
A recent study made by 27 national science academies has underlined the damage global heating is already causing and the increasingly impacts expected in the future. As extreme weather increases, heatwaves and floods will claim more victims, as well as the indirect effects of climate change, such as the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever, ticks that cause Lyme disease, or salmonella bacteria that thrives in warmer conditions.
Another indirect effect of climate change is worsening mental health: “Mental health effects include post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, substance abuse and depression.” And the study even even found research suggesting antibiotic resistance in E coli increases in hotter conditions. Sir Andrew Haines, professor of environmental change and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine stated:
“We are exposing the whole of the world population to changes in climate, and this is clearly very concerning as we are moving to some extent into uncharted territory.”
The report also showed concern due to the effect of extreme weather on food production, as well as the benefits that even small cuts in meat eating could bring to health and cutting carbon emissions. Prof Haines, which is also a co-chair of “The Imperative of Climate Action to Protect Human Health in Europe” report for the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (Easac) added:
“There are impacts occurring now [and], over the coming century, climate change has to be ranked as one of the most serious threats to health.”
On the other hand, the report also found that there are benefits from cutting carbon emissions, such as cutting the 350,000 early deaths from air pollution every year in Europe. But scientists are urging that more rapid and deep cuts of global carbon emissions are still needed in order to limit temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the worst impacts. The report concluded:
“The economic benefits of action to address the current and prospective health effects of climate change are likely to be substantial.”