Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

How climate change will affect your health

How climate change will affect your health

"We had this nice decade's worth of information about how environmental conditions related to the way people reported their mental health status", Obradovich said.

A landmark study from researchers in the United States found that global warming might trigger an increase of mental health issues in Americans.

Published Monday in the journal PNAS, the study looked at mental health issues and compared them to climate data in search of trends. They called for more studies in the "regions with less-temperate climates, insufficient resources, and a greater reliance on ecological systems" and predicted that these regions may have more "severe effects of climate change on mental health".

One in five young people will experience a mental health problem this year.

The researchers extrapolated that over a 30-day period, a shift of monthly temperature from 25 to 30 degrees Celsius to greater than 30 degrees Celsius would produce 2 million individuals who suffer from mental health issues.

In fact, the research reports that short-term exposure to more extreme weather - like getting increasingly hotter over time - and tropical cyclone exposure can be associated with a decline in mental health.

England play out stalemate with Croatia in Rijeka
England enters having lost its only UEFA Nations League bout, falling to Spain 2-1. In these games we have to pick a team to represent the country as well as we can.

More specifically, the study determined that there was a 0.5 increase in mental health difficulties for people in a month that averaged over 86 degrees Fahrenheit when compared to a month with an average between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Researchers have added a note to their study saying that the major limitation of this study was that the data came from a developed nation and from temperate climates. "It is time to act on mental health". However, "there are many other place-specific factors that may moderate the effect".

Finally, the team considered the toll of hurricanes on mental health. Their result: The occurrence of mental health problems was 4 percentage points higher among those who were hit by the hurricane than among those who weren't.

Other studies have found a connection between suicide rates and temperature. Patz and his co-authors found that high temperatures impacted admissions for self-harm, including attempted suicide. Warmer temperatures will only make those storms worse.Dr. Mona Sarfaty, director of the program on climate and health at George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication, said that "when increased rainfall leads to flooding, there can be a mixing of stormwater and sewage that leads to bacterial contamination in the water."That contamination can affect crops too, contributing to foodborne diseases".

The study's lead author, Nick Obradovich, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab, told CNN it's not totally clear why increasing temperatures result in increasing mental-health issues, but the data is clear.

He also said the study may underestimate the negative effects linked to changing climate, and there might be "stress and despair" occurring "as governments and industry fail to react at the pace recommended by multiple scientific assessments".

Like this: