24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825
Fax: (361)578-5500

Wellness and Personal Development
Resources
Basic InformationLatest News
Health Tip: Autumn Driving SafetyTV Binges, Video Games, Books and Sports Taking Toll on SleepSurvey Shows Americans Feel StressedDon't Get Along With Family? Check Your HealthHow to Head Off Holiday Weight GainClimate Change a 'Threat to Human Well-Being,' Scientists SayHealth Tip: Bundle Up on Cold, Windy DaysGet Healthier With a Mental ResetAre You Lonely? Your Tweets Offer Important Clues, Experts SayDaylight Saving Time Bad for Health, Experts ClaimMore Reasons Why You Must Manage Your StressWith Time Change, Use That Extra Hour for SleepAHA News: Your Neighborhood's Walkability May Be A Trick-Or-Treat For Your Heart All YearToo Little Time to Exercise? Survey Suggests OtherwiseAlmost Half of Americans Have Been Sleepy Behind the WheelHealth Tip: The 'Wall Test' For Good PostureCould Screens' Blue Light Make You Old Before Your Time?Health Tip: Prioritizing Your WellnessThe Wellness Boost of a Purposeful LifeHealth Tip: Planning a Stress-Reducing VacationWhy Maintaining a Healthy Weight Is Important in AdulthoodAHA News: The Road to Better Exercise Might Be in Your PlaylistAre You Eating More Calories Than You Think?How Fast You Walk Might Show How Fast You're AgingTying the Knot Is Tied to Longer Life Span, New Data ShowsCould Eating Healthier Be a Natural Antidepressant?'Smartphone Slouching' More Serious Than It SoundsAHA News: What's Your Sense of Purpose? The Answer May Affect Your HealthYour Furry Best Friend Might Extend Your LifeWhen Income Drops, Young Adults' Brains May SufferSeaside Living Soothes the Mind of Rich and Poor AlikeAHA News: Make Neighborhoods Green for Heart Health? The Idea Is Taking RootHow to Wait Out a Blue MoodOverweight Dog, Overweight Owner?Close Friendships Boost Your Self-Esteem, and Vice Versa: StudyEvidence Builds That Optimism Might Lengthen Your LifeMaking Lifestyle Changes You Can Live WithAmericans Are Still Eating Too Many 'Bad' CarbsSecond Thoughts About That Tattoo? Here's Some AdviceLow Vitamin D Levels, Shorter Life?Just 2 Weeks on the Couch Starts to Damage Your BodyHealth Tip: Taking a Mental Health DayAre You Just a Worrywart or Is It Something More?Online Learning: What's in It for You?10 Quick Tips for a Healthier, Safer LifeHow to Keep Your Bones Strong and Prevent FracturesHow Your Genes Affect the Number on Your ScaleFitter Bodies Make for Healthier Brains, Study FindsOccasional Naps Do a Heart Good, Swiss Study FindsAHA News: Less TV, More Activity May Mean Extra Years Free of Heart Disease and Stroke
Links
Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management

Climate Change a 'Threat to Human Well-Being,' Scientists Say

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Nov 5th 2019

new article illustration

TUESDAY, Nov. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A global coalition of more than 11,000 scientists warns that planet Earth is facing a "climate emergency" that will cause "untold human suffering" unless drastic steps are taken.

The warming climate is already taking a toll on human health, causing widespread hunger and illness that will grow exponentially worse, said the warning's lead author, William Ripple. He's a professor of ecology at Oregon State University College of Forestry, in Corvallis, Ore.

"In the end, our warning is about human well-being in that climate change is a major threat to human well-being," Ripple said.

Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected, with more severe effects, according to the paper published Nov. 5 in the journal BioScience. It is co-signed by 11,258 scientists from 153 countries.

The warning came one day after President Donald Trump served notice that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The scientists cited six immediate steps that must be taken to slow global warming:

  • Implement massive energy conservation practices, including restrictions to slow the use of fossil fuels.
  • Swiftly cut emissions of climate pollutants like methane, soot and hydrofluorocarbons, which could reduce the warming trend by more than half over the next few decades.
  • Restore and protect natural ecosystems like forests, grasslands and wetlands, which play a role in controlling the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.
  • Focus on plant-based diets with fewer animal products, since raising livestock takes more resources and also emits methane and other greenhouse gases.
  • Convert the global economy to one that acknowledges human dependence on the biosphere, and reduces exploitation of natural ecosystems that maintain planetary health.
  • Pursue policies that stabilize the global human population, which is increasing by more than 200,000 people a day.

"We have an urgent situation, but it's not too late in that anything we do now will help relieve suffering in the future," Ripple said. "We already are committed to some climate change, but if we take effective action now we may be able to avoid catastrophic climate change."

The effects of global warming on human health are already apparent and growing worse, according to Ripple and Dr. Eric Cioe Pena, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Mosquito and tick populations are spreading northward as the climate warms, bringing with them a number of infectious diseases, Ripple and Pena said.

"We now have Zika virus, which is endemic in Florida, in Miami," Pena said. "As the climate warms and becomes less temperate and more tropical, we're going to see Zika and Dengue, and some of these other more infectious diseases, spread throughout the U.S."

Extreme weather events that threaten human life and health also have become more common, the experts said.

"Just this week we're seeing a huge outbreak of wildfires in California," Ripple noted. These fires fill the sky with throat-choking smoke and threaten neighborhoods with destruction.

Hurricanes and tornadoes are also becoming more frequent and more ferocious, Pena added.

"We're going to see these superstorms more often, and the coasts are going to be threatened by that," Pena said.

There will be more hunger and starvation, as the changing climate threatens crop yields, and a warming ocean causes fish populations to decline, the experts explained.

Ripple said, "We already have hundreds of millions of humans who are hungry or starving, and that number could increase dramatically with severe climate change."

And Pena pointed out that it could get to the point where even clean water is hard to come by.

"Not to sound like Chicken Little and the sky is falling, but these are serious things," he said. "We're talking about the health security of millions of lives. That should be sobering to most folks."

More information

The U.S. Global Change Research Program has more about climate change and human health.