Experts Warn Hundreds of Thousands of Deaths from Global Warming as Frigid Weather Grips the Country

A man makes his way through the storm in Boston during a March noreaster snow storm on March 13, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.
JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP/Getty Images
PENNY STARR

The United States is in the grip of frigid winter weather but the New England Journal of Medicine is warning this month that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2014 prediction of 250,000 deaths each year between 2030 and 2050 from global warming may underestimate the threat.

WHO said deaths would be contributed to, among other things, malnutrition, heat stress and malaria.

Yahoo News reported:

The new review published Jan. 17 in The New England Journal of Medicine, said this is a “conservative estimate.” 

That’s because it fails to take into account other climate-related factors that could affect death rates — such as population displacement and reductions in labor productivity from farmers due to increased heat, study co-author Dr. Andrew Haines, epidemiologist and former director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, told CNN.

In addition, the WHO estimate didn’t take into account illnesses and deaths tied to disruptions in health services caused by extreme weather and climate events, the review said.

Yahoo reported that the Journal did not give a new death estimate “but noted that reduced food production alone is predicted to lead to a net increase of 529,000 adult deaths by 2050, according to a 2016 study.”

The report contains other grim predictions,  including more than 100 million people being forced into “extreme poverty” by 2030, an estimate from the World Bank.

The report concludes that “investments and policies” should be put in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the globe.

“Climate change is causing injuries, illnesses and deaths, with the risks projected to increase substantially with additional climate change, threatening the health of many millions of people,” the report said. “The pervasive threats to health posed by climate change demand decisive actions from health professionals and governments to protect the health of current and future generations.”

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