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Media Coverage Highlights

Global heat deaths could quadruple if action is not taken on climate change, study finds

Lucas Thompson // NBC News

A new study from The Lancet medical journal projects that global warming will create food insecurity for almost 525 million people.

Global heat deaths are projected to increase by 370% if action is not taken to limit the effects of global warming, according to a study published Tuesday in The Lancet, a medical journal.

Medical experts are worried about climate change too. Here’s how it can harm your health.

Karen Weintraub, Dinah Voyles Pulver // USA TODAY

As the world nears the end of what could be the hottest year in recorded history and heads into one predicted to be hotter still, a report underscores the health consequences of the warming climate.

The 8th annual report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change, released Tuesday, describes a “grave and mounting threat” if we fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially given the evidence of worsening world health as the planet warms.

Health Risks Linked to Climate Change Are Getting Worse, Experts Warn


The 8th update to a major international report shows more people are getting sick and dying from extreme heat, drought and other climate problems.

Climate change continues to have a worsening effect on health and mortality around the world, according to an exhaustive report published on Tuesday by an international team of 114 researchers.

Climate change, fossil fuels hurting people’s health, says new global report

Alejandra Borunda // NPR

Burning fossil fuels has driven climate change, and now climate change is costing people their health and increasingly their lives, says a new report from the prestigious medical journal the Lancet. The eighth annual Lancet Countdown, an international analysis that tracks nearly 50 different health-focused issues affected by climate change, calls for an immediate wind-down of fossil fuel use.

Two major reports say that climate change is hurting human health too

Alejandra Borunda // NPR
From extreme heat to wildfire smoke to pollution, fossil-fuel-driven climate change is making people sicker or killing them, according to two major reports. The solution isn’t complicated, they say.

Two grim reports on global climate efforts highlight increased fossil fuel subsidies, ill health


Humanity’s fight to curb climate change is failing in dozens of ways with people getting sicker and dying as the world warms and the fossil fuels causing it get more subsidies, according to two global reports issued Tuesday.

The health journal Lancet’s annual Countdown on climate and health found more people, especially the elderly, dying because of heat waves in recent years and it projects that will soar as temperatures keep rising.

How climate change is hurting Americans’ health – and what experts suggest we do about it

By Nada Hassanein // USA TODAY
Experts have called climate change the “greatest global threat to health.” Extreme heat and pollution are linked to many conditions including asthma and heart disease — and heat kills more people than hurricanes or floods each year.

Doctors decry ‘record profits’ for fossil fuel companies as climate change weighs on global health

By Evan Bush // NBC NEWS
Doctors are taking aim at the fossil fuels industry, placing blame for the world’s most dire health problems on the companies that continue to seek oil and gas profits even as climate change worsens heat waves, intensifies flooding and roils people’s mental health.

Doctors say ‘fossil fuel addiction’ kills, starves millions

Extreme weather from climate change triggered hunger in nearly 100 million people and increased heat deaths by 68% in vulnerable populations worldwide as the world’s “fossil fuel addiction” degrades public health each year, doctors reported in a new study.

The numbers are in: the heat is taking a heavy toll on health and incomes

By Justine Calma // The Verge
We can clearly see how big of a toll heat takes on health and employment around the world, thanks to a comprehensive new climate report from The Lancet medical journal. More people are dying during brutal heat spells. Scorching temperatures are also causing people to lose work.

Inaction on climate change imperils millions of lives, doctors say

By Sarah Kaplan // Washington Post
Climate change is set to become the “defining narrative of human health,” a top medical journal warned Wednesday — triggering food shortages, deadly disasters and disease outbreaks that would dwarf the toll of the coronavirus. But aggressive efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions from human activities could avert millions of unnecessary deaths, according to the analysis from more than 100 doctors and health experts.

Reports: Health problems tied to global warming on the rise

SETH BORENSTEIN // Associated Press
Health problems tied to climate change are all getting worse, according to two reports published Wednesday. The annual reports commissioned by the medical journal Lancet tracked 44 global health indicators connected to climate change, including heat deaths, infectious diseases and hunger. All of them are getting grimmer, said Lancet Countdown project research director Marina Romanello, a biochemist.

Climate change is ‘first and foremost’ a health crisis, new report finds

Kyle Bagenstose // USA TODAY
Working construction under the merciless Arizona sun, Eleazar Castellanos knew the signs that heat exhaustion was settling in. On the days when the temperature would top 100 degrees, he and his coworkers would sweat profusely. Then came the cramps in their arms and legs, and the overwhelming urge to stop: take a break, get some water, cool down.

Report warns of climate change’s ‘code red’ impact on health

Virginia Langmaid // CNN
A new report published Wednesday warns of the severe impact of climate change on human health, and says the prognosis is only getting worse. Droughts will hurt food production, rising temperatures will encourage the spread of dangerous pathogens such as malaria and cholera and current climate trends indicate a “code red” for future health, the new report in The Lancet medical journal predicts.

Extreme heat in cities a growing problem as climate warms, study finds

Evan Bush // NBC News
The risk of extreme heat is a rising threat to fast-growing cities around the world, according to a new study published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As more people move to cities and the climate warms, extreme heat could harm and kill more people, reduce worker productivity and hurt economies, the study says. The urban poor are most at risk.

Researchers Find Link Between Human Misery and Climate Change

Stephen Lee // Bloomberg Law
Human misery linked to climate change is getting worse, according to a growing body of research that was complemented by a new report released Wednesday by The Lancet, among the oldest and best-known medical journals.

Doctors warn climate change is now ‘the greatest global health threat facing the world’

Catherine Garcia // Yahoo News
Every year, the Lancet medical journal publishes its countdown on health and climate change, and the 2021 edition shows that global warming caused by human activities is threatening the health of everyone in myriad ways. Published Wednesday, the report was put together by more than 100 doctors and health experts. They wrote that climate change is “the greatest global health threat facing the world in the 21st century, but it is also the greatest opportunity to redefine the social and environmental determinants of health.”

Public health experts issue grim prognosis on climate impacts

Zoya Teirstein // Grist
As global leaders gear up for a major climate change summit in Scotland next month, researchers from 43 academic institutions and United Nations agencies warn that the world is missing its shot to address the public health impacts of the climate crisis and prepare for future warming. (PHOTO FROM GETTY IMAGES)

The Era of Climate Sickness Has Arrived

Ed Cara // Gizmodo
Scientists this week are voicing an urgent warning to the world and its leaders: Climate change is already harming our health, and given current trends, it’s only going to get worse. In a new report from The Lancet, the authors highlight dozens of health impacts linked to climate change, including the increased spread of infectious diseases, deadly heat waves and floods, and polluting wildfires. Much more needs to be done to cut down on fossil fuels and to better prepare for what’s on the way.

Extreme heat is a growing concern for doctors around the world

Justine Calma // The Verge
Extreme heat is a huge worry for doctors and public health experts around the world, and it’s steadily become a bigger problem over time, according to a sweeping new climate report published today in the leading medical journal, The Lancet.

Climate change is taking lives, and the time to act is running out, health experts say in new report

Sabrina Shankman // Boston Globe
As the planet heats up, an increase in wildfires, extreme heat, and drought is upending millions of lives worldwide, according to a new report from public health leaders around the world, putting the planet on the precipice of a global epidemic that could dwarf the COVID-19 crisis.

Climate change is bad for your health. And plans to boost economies may make it worse

Nathan Rott // WBUR
It may seem obvious: Heat kills. Wildfires burn. Flooding drowns. But the sprawling health effects of a rapidly warming world can also be subtle. Heat sparks violence and disrupts sleep. Wildfire smoke can trigger respiratory events thousands of miles away. Flooding can increase rates of suicide and mental health problems. Warmer winters expand the range of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks.

2020 is a ‘preview’ of how bad things can get if we don’t fix climate change, other systemic problems: Lancet report

Catherine Clifford // CNBC
The world is getting warmer, but the global response has “remained muted” despite efforts like the Paris Climate Agreement — and millions of lives are at risk as a result.

We Don’t Have To Live This Way’: Doctors Call For Climate Action

Rebecca Hersher // NPR – Shots
Climate change is making people sick and leading to premature death, according to a pair of influential reports on the connections between global warming and health.

Climate Change is Making Us Sick

Ali Pattillo // Inverse
The year 2020 is one of cascading crises — a pandemic and subsequent economic fallout, all against a backdrop of political instability and a societal reckoning over racial injustice.

Feeling the heat? Scientists warn of climate shocks to global health

Megan Rowling // Reuters
BARCELONA, Dec 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Heat-related deaths are surging around the world, particularly among older people, scientists said on Thursday, warning of growing pressure on health systems hit hard by COVID-19.

Doctors Release Their ‘Most Worrying Outlook’ on How Climate Change Is Ruining Our Health

Dharna Noor // Earther
The doctors are here to give the Earth its annual checkup, and they say it’s running a fever which is making people sick. They issued their findings showing all the ways climate change is affecting our health in the annual Lancet Countdown, published on Wednesday.

Hotter Planet Already Poses Fatal Risks, Health Experts Warn

Somini Sengupta // New York Times
A new report presented climate change as an immediate public health danger and urged lawmakers to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

New Movement On COVID Relief, Trump Looking At 2024, Dire UN Climate Report

NPR Up First
Top Democrats back off demands for larger COVID-19 relief bill. Sources tell NPR that President Trump is considering a run in 2024. Plus, new reports say climate change is making people sick.

Covid crisis offers a chance to act on climate, report says

Natalie Grover // The Guardian
The devastation caused by Covid-19 presents an opportunity for countries to rebuild their economies in a way that is environmentally responsible, researchers say.

New Study Shows Deep Impact Of Climate Change On Human Health

William A. Haseltine // Forbes
Our visual narratives of climate change have, historically, been replete with spectacular images of fire and flood. But the blood orange skies that loomed over San Francisco in early September—precipitated by a freak lightning storm that set regions surrounding the Bay Area ablaze—were what captured the popular imagination this year, at least in the United States. Photographs of the phenomenon, mundane otherwise, paint an ominous portrait of what awaits our warming world—more disaster, yes, but also warpings of everyday life as we know it.

Climate Change Poses Threats to Children’s Health Worldwide

Kendra Pierre-Louis // New York Times
The health effects of climate change will be unevenly distributed and children will be among those especially harmed, according to a new report from the medical journal The Lancet.

Climate change is damaging the health of the world’s children and threatens lifelong impact, report says

Doyle Rice // USA Today
Climate change is already damaging children’s health worldwide and could shape the well-being of an entire generation – unless the world meets the Paris Agreement targets to limit warming to well below 3.6 degrees F, according to a new report published Wednesday by the British health journal, The Lancet.

Climate change will affect “every single stage” of a child’s life, health researchers warn

Umair Irfan // Vox
A baby born today will face higher risks of disease and undernutrition because of climate change, according to a new report in The Lancet.

How the Climate Crisis Is Killing Us, in 9 Alarming Charts

Matt Simon // Wired
A new report from over 100 experts paints a devastating picture of how climate change is already imperiling human health.

Why Climate Change Poses A Particular Threat To Child Health

Nurith Aizenman // NPR Morning Edition
When it comes to global health, the world has made remarkable strides over the past two decades. There has been unprecedented progress vaccinating kids, treating diseases and lifting millions out of poverty. The childhood death rate has been slashed in half since 2000. Adults are living an average 5 1/2 years longer.

The climate crisis will profoundly affect the health of every child alive today, report says

Jen Christensen // CNN
The climate crisis is already hurting our health and it could burden generations to come with lifelong health problems, a new report finds. It could challenge already overwhelmed health systems and undermine much of the medical progress that has been made in the last century.

Climate change is damaging the lifelong health of children across the world, medical officials warn

Emma Newburger // CNBC
Scientists and health experts warn that children will suffer from infectious diseases, malnutrition and air pollution worsened by climate change, in a new report from The Lancet.

Climate Change is Already Making Us Sick

Brian Khan // Earther
The fossil fuels driving climate change make people sick, and so do impacts like extreme heat, wildfires, and more extreme storms, according to research published on Wednesday. In short, the climate crisis is a public health crisis.

Climate change will fundamentally shape the lives of children born in 2019

Adele Peters // Fast Company
A baby born this year—such as Penelope Page, born in a hotel in California last month after her parents fled a wildfire—will live a life “profoundly affected by climate change.” If greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current path, the world will be four degrees hotter by the time a child born today is 71 years old. That’s a version of the planet that no human has ever experienced. Food and water shortages are likely. Extreme heat may make some cities unlivable. Flooding and wildfires will destroy homes and critical infrastructure.

Climate scientists predict a bleak future for today’s children

Alexandra Pattillo // Inverse
A growing number of people are opting out of bringing humans into a so-called “doomed world” because of climate change, and it seems that some of their fears may be scientifically valid.

Climate change exposes future generations to life-long health harm

Kate Kelland // Reuters
LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – A child born today faces multiple and life-long health harms from climate change – growing up in a warmer world with risks of food shortages, infectious diseases, floods and extreme heat, a major global study has found.

How Climate Change Is Clobbering Kids’ Health

Jeffrey Kluger // TIME
Let’s pretend the 195 nations that signed the 2016 Paris Climate Accord really do take all of the steps necessary to reach the agreement’s key goal: limiting the increase in global temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Extreme heat from climate change a ‘medical emergency,’ sickening tens of millions worldwide

Doyle Rice // USA Today
Global warming is making us sick. The proportion of Earth’s population that’s vulnerable to heat-related death and disease continues to grow around the world because of human-caused climate change, according to a report released this week.

Climate change already a health emergency, say experts

Damian Carrington // The Guardian
People’s health is being damaged today by climate change through effects ranging from deadly heatwaves in Europe to rising dengue fever in the tropics, according to a report.

Climate change is already here, and heat waves are having the biggest effect, report says

Nina Avramova // CNN
Climate change is here and affecting our health, with extreme heat in particular also having effects on productivity, food supply and disease transmission, a new global report finds.

How Climate Change Is Challenging American Health Care

Vann R. Newkirk II // The Atlantic
Experts say mounting environmental pressures will make people sicker, and that the health-care system will play a major role in averting disaster.

Climate change is more extensive and worse than once thought

SETH BORENSTEIN // Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — Climate scientists missed a lot about a quarter century ago when they predicted how bad global warming would be.

Study Warns of Cascading Health Risks From the Changing Climate

Somini Sengupta and Kendra Pierre-Louis // The New York Times
Crop yields are declining. Tropical diseases like dengue fever are showing up in unfamiliar places, including in the United States. Tens of millions of people are exposed to extreme heat.

Climate change is killing our patients

Michael Soman and Mark Vossler // Seattle Times
A recent report from The Lancet, the world’s most widely read medical journal, along with recent October reports from the U.S. Climate Assessment and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) all confirm what we and other physicians are seeing in Washington and beyond — climate change is harming and killing our patients today.