Major UN report says climate change is taking a large toll on our health
Three-quarters of the world’s population could be exposed to heat stress by 2100 if we don’t control carbon emissions, the IPCC says.
When an unprecedented heat wave struck the Pacific Northwest last summer, the emergency department at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle was fielding patients at a pace not seen since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, says emergency room doctor Jeremy Hess.
“It was the first time I felt like I was part of a care team very actively responding to climate change,” says Hess, who is also a public health researcher at the University of Washington. “Personally, it was kind of sad for me.”
The 2021 “heat dome” resulted in more than 1,000 deaths in the U.S. and Canada. A study published a month later found it would have been “virtually impossible” without climate change.