It’s not just the heat; El Niño and the climate crisis could impact your health.
You might have heard of El Niño before, the climate pattern that drives year-to-year variation in global surface temperature and long-term warming trends. Well, it’s not just the rising temperatures that we have to be concerned about. Climate change and the El Niño ocean warming effect are raising new concerns over public health around the world, as hotter and wetter weather helps the spread of infectious diseases.
The facts are in
According to new research, 58% of all infectious diseases encountered by humans can be aggravated by climate change. These same researchers said it was “necessary to cut the emissions causing climate change rather than adapt to the health consequences because there were more than 1,000 pathways in which climate hazards cause disease.”
This summer alone we have seen catastrophic flooding including in Libya, where more than 11,000 people have died and at least another 10,000 are still missing. Floods like these are breeding grounds for infectious diseases and the vectors of these diseases such as mosquitos. So not only can these extreme climatic events be deadly in themselves, but the aftermath is likely to include a spread of infectious diseases such as dengue fever, cholera and malaria.
Maria Neira, director of the public health and environment department at WHO, put it this way, “We need to be prepared for the health consequences of climate change. — we need to react accordingly.
Is this what we want our futures to look like? A world of extreme climatic events and disease? We need to take climate action now.
We know how – by backing people to protect the rainforest and fight the climate crisis. Donate now to take climate action.