The effects of climate change on human health include direct effects of extreme weather, leading to injury and loss of life,[1] as well as indirect effects, such as undernutrition brought on by crop failures or lack of access safe drinking water.[2] Climate change poses a wide range of risks to population health.[3] The three main categories of health risks include: (i) direct-acting effects (e.g. due to heat waves, extreme weather disasters), (ii) impacts mediated via climate-related changes in ecological systems and relationships (e.g. crop yields, mosquito ecology, marine productivity), and (iii) the more diffuse (indirect) consequences relating to impoverishment, displacement, and mental health problems.

More specifically, the relationship between health and heat (increased global temperatures) includes the following aspects:[4] exposure of vulnerable populations to heatwaves, heat-related mortality, impacts on physical activity and labour capacity and mental health. There is a range of climate-sensitive infectious diseases which may increase in some regions, such as mosquito-borne diseases, diseases from vibrio pathogens, cholera and some waterborne diseases.[4] Health is also acutely impacted by extreme weather events (floods, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires) through injuries, diseases and air pollution in the case of wildfires. Other health impacts from climate change include migration and displacement due rising sea levels; food insecurity and undernutrition,[4] reduced availability of drinking water, increased harmful algal blooms in oceans and lakes and increased ozone levels as an additional air pollutant during heatwaves.[5]

The health impacts of climate change are felt around the world but disproportionately affects disadvantaged populations, making their climate change vulnerability worse, especially in developing countries.[4]: 15  Young children are the most vulnerable to food shortages, and together with older people, to extreme heat.[6]

The health effects of climate change are increasingly a matter of concern for the international public health policy community. Already in 2009, a publication in the well-known general medical journal the Lancet stated: “Climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century”.[7] This was re-iterated in 2015 by a statement of the World Health Organisation.[3] In 2019, the Australian Medical Association formally declared climate change a health emergency.[8]

Studies have found that communication on climate change is more likely to lead to engagement by the public if it is framed as a health concern, rather than just as an environmental matter. Health is one part of how climate change affects humans, together with aspects such as displacement and migration, security and social impacts.

Source of this content is Wikipedia

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