Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Auckland scientist leads climate change health impact report

Auckland scientist leads climate change health impact report


Climate change impacts on human health were the focus of an Auckland academic’s contribution to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The second part of the Fifth assessment report has just been released by the IPCC and considers how the changing climate impacts people and the natural world.

A University of Auckland expert in epidemiology and biostatistics, Professor Alistair Woodward led the chapter on human health and an accompanying paper which is published today by prestigious medical journal, the Lancet.

The full IPCC Fifth Report was released this week and was the culmination of three years of work by 300 authors, amounting to almost 2000 pages.

Professor Woodward says the effects of high temperatures on workers’ health and labour productivity were highlighted in this report.

“The Fifth Report also gives greater attention to the so-called high-end climate scenarios, reflecting recent research and the persistent failure of international negotiations to make credible progress toward substantial reduction in emissions”, he says.

“Some scenarios project warming of 4–7°C (on average) over much of the global landmass by the end of the 21st century,” he says. “If this change happens, then the hottest days will exceed present temperatures by a wide margin and increase the number of people who live in conditions that are so extreme that the ability of the human body to maintain heat balance during physical activity is compromised for parts of the year and unprotected outdoor labour is no longer possible.”

The new assessment concluded, as did the Fourth Report, that there might be some health gains from climate change (such as reduced cold-related morbidity and mortality), but showed that the evidence is now stronger for positive effects to be outweighed, worldwide, by negative effects.

“The effect of climate-sensitive health outcomes (such as hunger and vector-borne diseases) is moderated by many factors other than climate (for example, living conditions and health care)”, says Professor Woodward.

“The key message is that climate change is a huge risk. It is a risk to health, and every other aspect of human activity. The problem is that our present trajectory of consumption is taking us further into the danger zone,” he says. “But there are also significant opportunities. There are many ways to reduce future risk and at the same time promote present-day health and well-being.”

“These include energy policies that move away from polluting fuels, coal especially and making our cities places for people to move comfortably on foot and bicycle and public transport.”

“Boosting public health services in vulnerable, low-income countries is necessary to cope with climate change impacts; we know this will also bring many benefits in the short-term,” he says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Cosmetics & Pollution: Proposal To Ban Microbeads

Cosmetic products containing microbeads will be banned under a proposal announced by the Minister for the Environment today. Marine scientists have been advocating for a ban on the microplastics, which have been found to quickly enter waterways and harm marine life. More>>

ALSO:

NIWA: 2016 New Zealand’s Warmest Year On Record

Annual temperatures were above average (0.51°C to 1.20°C above the annual average) throughout the country, with very few locations observing near average temperatures (within 0.5°C of the annual average) or lower. The year 2016 was the warmest on record for New Zealand, based on NIWA’s seven-station series which begins in 1909. More>>

ALSO:

Farewell 2016: NZ Economy Flies Through 2016's Political Curveballs

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy batted away some curly political curveballs of 2016 to end the year on a high note, with its twin planks of a booming construction sector and rampant tourism soon to be joined by a resurgent dairy industry. More>>

ALSO:


NZ Economy: More Growth Than Expected In 3rd Qtr

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the September quarter as a booming construction sector continued to underpin activity, spilling over into related building services, and was bolstered by tourism and transport ... More>>

  • NZ Govt - Solid growth for NZ despite fragile world economy
  • NZ Council of Trade Unions - Government needs to ensure economy raises living standards
  • KiwiRail Goes Deisel: Cans electric trains on partially electrified North Island trunkline

    Dec. 21 (BusinessDesk) – KiwiRail, the state-owned rail and freight operator, said a small fleet of electric trains on New Zealand’s North Island would be phased out over the next two years and replaced with diesel locomotives. More>>

  • KiwiRail - KiwiRail announces fleet decision on North Island line
  • Greens - Ditching electric trains massive step backwards
  • Labour - Bill English turns ‘Think Big’ into ‘Think Backwards’
  • First Union - Train drivers condemn KiwiRail’s return to “dirty diesel”
  • NZ First - KiwiRail Going Backwards for Xmas
  • NIWA: The Year's Top Science Findings

    Since 1972 NIWA has operated a Clean Air Monitoring Station at Baring Head, near Wellington... In June, Baring Head’s carbon dioxide readings officially passed 400 parts per million (ppm), a level last reached more than three million years ago. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news