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Climate change may increase mortality rate due to excess heat by six times: Lancet study

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    19th Aug, 2022

Context

Recently, The Lancet Planetary Health journal published a report on Climate change that may increase the mortality rate due to excessive heat by six times by the end of the century.

Analysis

  • As per the study, the average intensity of hot night events will nearly double by 2090, from 20.4 degrees Celsius to 39.7 degrees Celsius across 28 cities from East Asia.
  • The frequency and mean intensity of hot nights would increase by more than 30% and 60% by the 2100s, respectively, compared with less than 20% increase in the daily mean temperature.
  • It is increasing the burden of disease due to excessive heat that disrupts normal sleep.

According to Researchers from the University of North Carolina:

Less sleep can lead to immune system damage and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic illnesses, inflammation, and mental health conditions.

  • The results suggest that warming from climate change could have a troubling impact, even under restrictions from the Paris Climate Agreement that aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

About Paris Climate Agreement:

  • The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change.
  • It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.
  • Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):

  • It means the contributions that need to be done by each country to achieve the overall global goal.
  • The contributions need to be reported every 5 years to UNFCCC.
  • The contributions are not legally binding.
  • The goal is to make sure that all countries have access to technical expertise and financial capability to meet the climate challenges.

COP 21: India

  • India needs to grow rapidly to meet the aspiration of 1.25 Billion population, and out of this 300 Million people are without access to energy.
  • India has pledged to reduce emissions intensity per unit GDP.
  • Aiming to reach 40% of installed capacity from non-fossil fuels.
  • Targeting 175 GW of renewable energy generation by 2022.
  • Planning to enlarge forest cover to absorb 2.5 Billion tonnes worth of carbon dioxide.
  • Reducing dependence on fossil fuels through levies and reduction in subsidies.

Conclusion

The Lancet study provides novel evidence for the significant mortality risks and burden in association with night-time warming across three countries in East Asia.

The projection at least a doubling intensity of hot night with higher increase in mortality burden due to hot nights, suggesting a growing role of night-time warming in heat-related health effects in a changing climate.

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