“Climate change is making over 200 diseases worse and our immune systems weaker, study finds”

More than 58 per cent of human diseases have gotten worse because of climate change, according to a new study.

The groundbreaking research, published in Nature Climate Change on Monday, was conducted by researchers at Mamoa’s University of Hawaii, who carried out a systematic search for real-life examples of the impact of ten climatic hazards worsened by greenhouse gas emissions on human diseases.

By Giulia Carbonaro • 09/08/2022 – 20:26

“These included warming, drought, heatwaves, wildfires, extreme precipitation, floods, storms, sea level rise, biogeochemical change, and land cover change.

“Analysing over 70,000 scientific papers for examples of direct links between known diseases and climate change, the scientists discovered that all of the extreme climatic events made more common and more severe by global warming had an influence on diseases triggered by viruses, bacteria, animals, fungi and plants. Of 375 diseases analysed, 218 proved to be affected by climate change.

Climate bringing hazards closer

“Specifically, researchers found that climate change-related hazards bring pathogens closer to people, with warmer temperatures and more humid environments, associated with the increase in precipitation, favouring the proliferation of mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, birds, and mammals which are responsible for the spread of several viruses and bacteria like dengue, the plague, Lyme disease, and malaria.

“With climate change influencing more than 1,000 transmission pathways… and climate hazards increasingly globally, we concluded that expecting societies to successfully adapt to all of them isn’t a realistic option…” – study’s authors


Study authors

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