Study finds climate change could shorten human lifespan by six months

A recent study, published in the open-access journal PLOS Climate by Amit Roy from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology and The New School for Social Research, U.S., suggests that the cost of climate change might be as significant as six months off the average human lifespan.

Analyzing data from 191 countries spanning from 1940 to 2020, Roy evaluated the correlation between temperature, rainfall, and life expectancy, controlling for economic disparities using GDP per capita.

The study found that for every 1°C increase in global temperature, there's an associated decrease in average human life expectancy of around 0.44 years, roughly translating to a loss of about 5 months and 1 week.

Moreover, a 10-point increase in a composite climate change index, which factors in both temperature and rainfall, could lead to a six-month reduction in average life expectancy. Women and those in developing nations are expected to be disproportionately affected.

Dr. Roy hopes that the introduction of this composite climate change index will standardize global discussions on the issue, offering a metric accessible to the public and fostering cooperation among nations to address climate change impacts.

The study underscores the importance of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing environment. 

It suggests the need for localized studies focusing on specific severe weather events like wildfires, tsunamis, and floods, which can't be fully captured through temperature and rainfall analysis alone. 

Dr. Roy adds: “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, as revealed by this study, emphasizing that mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and proactive initiatives are essential to safeguard life expectancy and protect the health of populations worldwide.”

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt