Former United States Vice President Al Gore said heat stress is responsible for most of the deaths at an event hosted by him and American Public Health Association along with over fifty organizations representing policymakers, activists and scientists on Thursday for the Climate & Health Meeting to replace the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s climate change conference.
The meeting at the Carter Center in Atlanta allowed experts to raise alarms about climate change related death risks.
Carter Center was founded by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter. It is a non-profit organization to fight poverty, hunger, conflict, oppression as well as disease across the world.
World Health Organization (WHO) said climate change could cause more 250,000 annual deaths between 2030 and 2050.
Climate change is real and human pollution is primarily responsible for it, said 97 percent of the climate scientists at the event.
US Natural Hazard Statistics data reveal between 1986 and 2015 as well as 2006 and 2015 most of the weather-related deaths were due to heat, and only 2015 the primary cause was flooding.
The 2016 was Earth’s hottest year since 1880s when record-keeping started and this is due to concentrations of greenhouse gases.
With increase of heat some of the infectious diseases spread fast and this result with posing higher risk of death. Warmer and wetter weather provides ideal conditions for disease-carrying mosquitoes to flourish and this result with spread of mosquito-borne diseases. The same happened recently with Zika virus. In Puerto Rico more than 4,000 cases of Zika from November to January.
Gore mentioned how the climate change is impacting the plants too. Extreme weather bars crops from growing and the yields are reduced thereafter. More to this, the higher levels of CO2 affect the foods that people eat.
He added, “Essential nutrients like zinc, iron, copper, magnesium and calcium could decrease significantly in the food crops that we rely upon, and this is not because of higher temperatures; this is because of higher CO2 levels.”
In alfalfa and soybean plants it has been found elevated CO2 has reduced the nitrogen and protein content.
Experts at the meeting believe reversing the climate change effects can benefit public health as well as death rate projections.
Dr. Howard Frumkin, professor at the University of Washington School of Public Health, said it is not easy to quantify global death rates from just climate change, but it can be done in small ways, malaria, severe storms and hunger.
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