CLIMATE change may take six months off the average human lifespan, according to a study which found that this phenomenon was disproportionately affecting women and individuals in developing nations.
Average temperature, rainfall and life expectancy data across 191 countries from 1940– 2020 was evaluated for the study which was published recently in the journal PLOS Climate.
In a first, researchers designed a composite climate change index, which was used to measure the impacts of temperature and rainfall to gauge the severity of climate change.
Results indicated that in isolation, a global temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius is associated with an average human life expectancy decrease of approximately 0.44 years, or about six months and one week.
A 10-point increase in the composite climate change index is expected to decrease the average life expectancy by six months, the study found.
“The global threat posed by climate change to the well-being of billions underscores the urgent need to address it as a public health crisis,” said Amit Roy from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh and The New School for Social Research, US.
“Mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and proactive initiatives are essential to safeguard life expectancy and protect the health of populations worldwide,” he added.
The team said it hoped the composite climate change index will standardise the global conversation about climate change, become a usable metric for the members of the public and encourage collaboration among countries to combat it.