ibusinesslines.com November 14, 2018

Health Problems, Global Warming Linked, Per Study

13 October 2018, 10:41 | Melissa Porter

Health Problems, Global Warming Linked, Per Study

How climate change will affect your health

They used the data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which included a mental health-related report by more than two million people in US residents.

Between 2002 and 2012, almost 2 million participants were asked this question: "Now thinking about your mental health, which includes stress, depression, and problems with emotions, for how many days during the past 30 days was your mental health not good?" That same study estimated that over 8 million people die early due to air pollution every year.A warming planet also means more wildfires, which routinely release smoke that further worsens air quality. On the plus side, the survey participants were randomly selected to be representative of the nation as a whole.

WHO noted that "evidence is growing that promoting and protecting adolescent mental health benefits not just adolescents' health, in the short- and the long-term".

The results of a new study draw parallels between global warming and declining mental health.

Other studies have found a connection between suicide rates and temperature.

Even a modest rise in temperatures is associated with an increase in mental health issues, according to a study published this year that surveyed almost 2 million USA residents.

The researchers also found that being a woman instead of a man was associated with an effect of the same magnitude.

Rainy days took a toll as well. In addition, they also reported that a 1 degree Celsius increase in average temperature was associated with a 2 percentage point increased prevalence of mental health issues.

Next, the researchers considered the effect of warming that occurred over the course of several years.

That data were collected from 2002 to 2012.

Finally, the team considered the toll of hurricanes on mental health.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published this report this week (Monday 8th October 2018) saying that the greenhouse emissions are at their highest at present and at given rates they could spell disaster.

"We don't exactly know why we see high temperatures or increasing temperatures produce mental health problems", Obradovich told CNN. "It is time to act on mental health".

Mental health problems of people affected by the hurricane Katrina were compared with those who were unaffected. It gives them evidence that hotter temperatures across the US worsen mental health of residents.

Nick Obradovich, research scientist at the MIT Media Lab and co-author of the new study, warned of "catastrophic" dips in mental health for some if climate change causes the global temperature to increase by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The researchers named a few, including the fact that rising temperatures may force some people to move, uprooting their entire lives. Hot weather discourages people from exercising and makes it harder to get a good night's sleep, and studies suggest that sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression. He warned that a 2 degree Celsius rise can push human mental health over the edge.

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