Climate change could lead to more deaths than infectious disease in the future


Land and ocean temperature departure from average, January to December, 2019. (NOAA)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – According to Time Magazine, climate change could cause more annual deaths globally than infectious disease by the year 2100. 

Our climate is changing, that is a fact. One of the biggest signals of our changing climate is the increase in the global temperature. 

According to NOAA, the global combined land and ocean temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.13 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since 1880; however, the average rate of increase since 1981 is more than twice that. Small shifts in averages, mean big changes in temperature extremes we experience.

According to the CDC, from 2004 to 2018, an average of 702 heat-related deaths occurred in the United States each year. Since our warming isn’t slowing down, that number will continue to grow. Not just in the United States, but all across the globe. Time Magazine reported that a new analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests climate change could rise temperatures up to the point of causing 85 deaths per 100,000 people globally, every year, by the year 2100 if steps are not made to slow climate change. 

According to Time, that’s more than our currently killed by infectious disease all over the world. The vulnerability for extreme heat is highest for older people, and poorer communities without access to air conditioning. 

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