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Feeling the heat? Scientists warn of climate shocks to global health
(Reuters, 3 Dec 2020) As warming accelerates, so are deaths from extreme heat, especially among the elderly, while more work hours are being lost, says Lancet report on health and climate change.
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.
Extreme heat led to the deaths of almost 300,000 people over 65 years old in 2018 - a 54% rise in two decades, said a report on the links between health and climate in The Lancet medical journal.
Higher temperatures are also making it impossible for people to work outdoors in sweltering conditions in places like India and Indonesia, with 302 billion work hours lost globally in 2019, up from 199 billion in 2000, it said.
"Climate-induced shocks are claiming lives, damaging health and disrupting livelihoods in all parts of the world right now," said Ian Hamilton, executive director of the fifth annual report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.
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