Heat waves, drought, continued exposure to polluted air… the imprint of the climate crisis on our body is already palpable. Almost half a million deaths are due to particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions associated with the transportation industry. Almost two million deaths annually in the world result directly from exposure to polluted outdoor air. Heat-related mortality in people over 65 years of age increased by 85% between 2013 and 2022.
These are figures that appear in the ‘iceberg’ that contains all the consequences of climate change. Some sequels included in the eighth edition of the Countdown on Health and Climate Changewhich publishes the magazine The Lancet. “Our health analysis reveals that today the growing threats of climate change are claiming lives and affecting people’s livelihoods around the world,” said Marina Romanello, executive director of the Lancet Countdown at University College London.
The future that experts paint is not at all hopeful: the world is on track to reach 2.7°C warming by 2100 and energy-related emissions will reach a new record in 2022, the lives of current and future generations hang in the balance of a thread. “With an emission of 1,337 tons of carbon dioxide per second, we are not even close to reducing emissions quickly enough to keep climate dangers within tolerable levels for our health systems,” insists Romanello.
Throughout 2022, people were exposed, on average, to 86 days of extreme temperatures that posed a risk to their health, of which andl 60% were at least twice as likely to occur due to human-caused climate change.
The eighth report Lancet Countdown It is the joint work of 114 leading experts from 52 research institutions and UN agencies around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The report is led by University College London and presents the most up-to-date analysis of the link between health and climate change.