The climate emergency presents a fundamental threat to human health, touching every aspect of the environment as well as human and natural systems including the functioning of health care infrastructure and the transmission of diseases — and it’s getting worse.

According to a report published in the medical journal the Lancet in Nov. 2023, more people are getting sick and dying from extreme heat, drought, and other climate problems.

One of the starkest projections of the report was that if the global average temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial temperatures, an increasingly likely future, the number of heat-related deaths each year will increase by 370% by the middle of this century.

What’s more, despite contributing minimally to global emissions, low-income countries in the Global South and small island developing states endure the harshest health impacts. In vulnerable regions, the death rate from extreme weather events in the last decade was 15 times higher than in less vulnerable ones.

These are seven ways in which climate change is impacting our health.

  1. It’s Affecting Our Mental Health
  2. It’s Increasing Disease Transmission
  3. It’s Wrecking Health Care Systems
  4. Air Pollution is Choking Us
  5. Extreme Heat is Frying Us
  6. Food Insecurity Is Costing Lives
  7. Displacement Disrupts Treatment

Read the full article about how climate change impacts health by Tess Lowery at Global Citizen.