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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Medical journals seek urgent action on climate change in unprecedented plea

Since the pre-industrial times, the temperature has already risen by 1.1 degree Celsius, and could go up to 1.5 degree Celsius in less than 20 years.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
September 6, 2021 9:28:46 am
The Caldor Fire burns along both sides of Highway 50 as firefighters work to stop its eastward spread in Eldorado National Forest, California. (AP)

Editors of 220 medical journals worldwide have called for urgent action on climate change in a joint editorial published on Sunday, according to an AFP report quoted by france24.com.

“Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world,” the editorial, published ahead of the COP26 climate summit, read. It added: “In the past 20 years, heat-related mortality among people older than 65 years has increased by more than 50 per cent.”

Since the pre-industrial times, the temperature has already risen by 1.1 degree Celsius, and could go up to 1.5 degree Celsius in less than 20 years.

The editorial, written by the editors-in-chief of journals including the Lancet, the East African Medical Journal, Brazil’s Revista de Saude Publica and the International Nursing Review, said this had caused a plethora of health problems as well. “In the past 20 years, heat-related mortality among people older than 65 years has increased by more than 50 percent,” it read.

“Higher temperatures have brought increased dehydration and renal function loss, dermatological malignancies, tropical infections, adverse mental health outcomes, pregnancy complications, allergies, and cardiovascular and pulmonary morbidity and mortality,” the editorial added.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP26 is scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.

An Intergovernment Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) report, released in August, has predicted an increase in incidents of extreme rainfall, more intense and frequent heat-waves, dangerous rise in sea-levels, prolonged droughts, and melting glaciers as Earth’s temperature rises.

Last month, the President-designate of COP26 had warned that this year is the world’s last chance to get a grip on climate change. “You’re seeing on a daily basis what is happening across the world. Last year was the hottest on record, the last decade the hottest decade on record,” Alok Sharma told the Observer newspaper.

“I don’t think we’re out of time but I think we’re getting dangerously close to when we might be out of time,” he had said.

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