Aug 17, 2019 | Updated: 07:24 AM EDT

Childhood Stunting and Deaths May Be Caused By Climate Change

Aug 02, 2019 07:05 PM EDT

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(Photo : RachelBotswick)

Climate change has become a household term to refer to everything else in the environment that people do not understand. It has caused massive drought and flood in several areas of the world. However, according to the new report, the effects of climate change has not just led to the global climate crisis, but it has led to deaths as well, particularly that of children. The report predicts that the impact of climate change will spread through childhood stunting, lower IQ, and malnutrition among children in the coming decades. 

The report was produced by researchers from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. The team pulled together 120 peer-reviewed journal articles to paint a picture of the health-related impacts of the climate emergency that the world is suffering from at the moment, particularly in the regions of the Pacific and Australia. 

The report included the statement from the World Health Organization (WHO) released in 2018 which shows the prediction of how global warming would lead to more deaths between the years 2030 to 2050. Malnutrition, Malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress are among the possible reasons for the toll of death due to climate change. However, Misha Coleman, one of the lead authors of the study, already stressed the fact that the deaths due to these changes were already occurring. 

"There are absolutely people dying around the world because of the effects of climate change. In fact, studies show that heat stress is one of the leading causes of death among people today."

In a report in 2017 published in the journal Nature, the experts predicted that by 2100, more than 75% of the people around the world will be exposed to heat waves that are too extreme it could lead to death. The report also pointed out the deaths as a result of the effects of hurricanes, fires and flooding. However, the report shows a deeper, more insidious impact of climate change to humanity.

"Severe weather conditions have indeed caused a number of deaths, especially among informal settlements in the Pacific region. Some of the diseases that it came with like that of diarrhea and chikungunya has become so widespread that it became prevalent and has taken lives and puts a lot of others at greater risk. 

The sad part of all this is the fact that children, who are most resilient, are the usual victims of these unwanted impacts of climate change. The decreased nutritional value from the staple crops results to higher carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Such increase in CO2 is believed to cause anemia, stunting and malnutrition among children, within the next 10 to 20 years. 

'What future awaits the children," asked Coleman. "These events are only about to get worse, not less, through time.

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