Human health declining with world's rising temperature

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Washington, Dec 19 (UNI) Climate change is coming heavily on human health as it continues to show its cruel face to the world.

Researchers pondering over the affects of Global warming warn that rising temperature can cause health problems among people across the globe, particularly affecting the older people.

They say, depending on where you are, this is going to be a hotter, wetter,drier, windier, calmer, dirtier, buggier or hungrier century than mankind has seen in a while.In some places, it may be deadlier, too.

The effects of climate change are diverse and sometimes contradictory. In general, they favour instability and extreme events. On balance, they will tend to harm health rather than promote it.

''We are not dealing with a single toxic agent or a single microbe where we can put our finger with certainty on an exposure and the response,'' said Jonathan A Patz, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.''Climate change affects everything,'' he added.

Predictions of how global warming could affect people's health are crude. They are based on the experience of the past several decades, when there has been a small, well-documented rise in the temperatures of the planet's atmosphere and oceans, the Washingtonpost reported.

In the last quarter of the 20th century, the average atmospheric temperature rose by about 1 degree Fahrenheit. By 2000, that increase was responsible for the annual loss of about 160,000 lives and the loss of 5.5 million years of healthy life, according to estimates by the World Health Organization. The toll is expected to double to about 300,000 lives and 11 million years of healthy life by 2020.

The biggest tolls were in Africa, on the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast Asia. Most of that increased burden of death and disease was from malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria, heat waves and floods. But those diseases will play a minor role, at best, in many regions that nevertheless will feel the effects of global warming.


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