Climate Change Could Shave Six Months Off Your Life, New Study Warns

By: | January 28th, 2024

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A study in PLOS Climate suggests that climate change may reduce life expectancy by half a year, emphasizing another alarming consequence of human-induced global heating. This concern is heightened as scientists recently confirmed 2023 as the hottest year on record.

Led by Dr. Sudip Roy, the research analyzes data from 1940-2020 across 191 countries. The study proposes a potential six-month reduction in global life expectancy due to the complex interplay of temperature and rainfall.

The research indicates that a one-degree Celsius increase in annual temperature is linked to a five and a half month drop in life expectancy. Additionally, each 10-point rise in a composite climate change index results in a further six-month reduction in lifespan. The impact of climate change won’t be uniform, with women facing greater challenges due to existing healthcare and social inequalities. Developing nations are expected to bear the brunt, lacking the resources to address climate-related challenges effectively.

A Call to Action:

This study emphasizes the critical need for immediate action to address the human health risks posed by climate change. Urgent measures include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and investing in climate adaptation to ensure a healthier future for all.

While abundant research has highlighted various negative health effects linked to climate change, including potentially lethal heat, the risk of new deadly pandemics, an increase in extreme weather events and natural disasters, and heightened risks for individuals with respiratory and mental health problems, Dr. Sudip Roy notes that there is currently no established direct link between climate change and life expectancy.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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