In a new report, experts from the United States have banded together to warn about the serious health risks caused by climate change.
Aside from the environmental and economic effects, the global population should expect a series of interconnected health risks if the emission of excess greenhouse gases is not controlled.
"We don't see these health impacts individually," stated Kristie L. Ebi, a professor at the University of Washington and one of the authors of the report. "We see them jointly. We see them coming at communities all at the same time."
Climate Change As A Serious Health Risk
The report revealed that among the biggest threats is heat stress. While it might not directly kill, heat stress can lead to more serious diseases such as heart attack or stroke.
The increasingly warming planet will also exacerbate and alter patterns of infectious diseases. For example, tropical diseases like dengue are showing up in places such as the United States while developing nations experience an alarming increase rate of infection.
Moreover, changes in the climate put millions of people vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. Previous studies have found evidence that unusually warm ocean temperatures have brought more major hurricanes in the United States in 2017. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Europe experienced its hottest weather in more than a decade.
Experts also noted that the heat will threaten food security, safe drinking water, and clean air.
Destruction Begins As Early As Now
Nick Watt, the executive director of the Lancet Countdown, reiterated that the damages of climate change to the health of the public are already felt now.
"These are not things happening in 2050 but are things we are already seeing today," he stated. "We think of these as the canary in, ironically, the coalmine."
The report published on The Lancet involved 150 experts from 27 universities and institutions across the United States. The World Health Organization and the World Bank are also involved in the research.
It was published a week after the U.S. Geographical Survey and the National Climate Assessment had released reports on the country's carbon dioxide emission and the economic burden of climate change in the coming years.