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Doctors warn of increasing health risks due to rising temperatures in UN climate report

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UN climate report: Doctors warn of rise in heat-related health risks

New Delhi, March 20 – The UN red alert on climate change has sparked concern among doctors who highlighted the significant health risks associated with rising global temperatures. The latest report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) revealed record-breaking levels of greenhouse gases and other alarming climate indicators in 2023.

According to the report, there is a high probability that 2024 will be another record-hot year, with January 2024 already being the warmest on record. Experts have warned about the impact of climate change on respiratory health, citing increased air pollution exacerbating conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, and lung cancer.

Dr. Vikas Maurya, Director and HoD Pulmonology at Fortis Shalimar Bagh, emphasized that climate change leads to worsened air quality, triggering respiratory problems. Dr. Kuldeep Kumar Grover, Head of Critical Care and Pulmonology at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, highlighted the correlation between climate change and infectious diseases due to altered virus behavioral patterns.

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The year 2023 marked Earth’s hottest year on record and the first year close to being 1.5 degrees Celsius hotter than the pre-industrial average. Scientists are concerned that 2024 may surpass the UN-mandated 1.5 degrees C limit, leading to more frequent and intense heatwave events with potential health repercussions such as heatstroke and dehydration.

As global temperatures continue to rise, experts anticipate a surge in heat-related illnesses and a worsening of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. The looming threat of surpassing the 1.5 degrees C limit underscores the urgent need for collective action to mitigate the health impacts of climate change.

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