“Tackling climate change could be the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century” – The Lancet (2015)
Who are we?
We are medical students at the University of Western Australia passionate about global health. One of the biggest threats to global health in the 21st century stems from climate change and its effects on the biosphere and on our socio-political and economic systems. Climate change will negatively affect human health, worsen social inequity with regards to healthcare access, and deepen poverty around the world. Minimising and tackling the repercussions of climate change should be at the forefront of government and health policy of nations to ensure a sustainable and equitable future for all.
Climate Change: The Basics
97% of climate scientists agree that climate change attributed to human greenhouse gas emission is warming our planet. Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global temperatures have increased dramatically since the industrial revolution. A warmer atmosphere leads to more extreme weather events, resulting in intense flooding in some areas and drought in others. Warmer temperatures cause glaciers to melt, which causes sea levels to rise. Currently, our temperature is predicted to rise 4 degree Celsius by 2100. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, it is important to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degree Celsius. If climate changes at the present pace, it will have devastating consequences on global weather patterns and the planet’s ecosystems.
The environmental and social manifestations of climate change pose multifaceted risks to human health. These risks are outlined below.
Our goal is to explore how each category of climate change risk will affect human health across the globe and how the poorest and most disadvantaged populations will face the greatest burden of climate change.