Climate Change Kills 5 Million People Every Year: Here's How
A report released earlier this year from the climate change watch group DARA estimates that the deaths related to climate change and its chief driver, fossil fuels, were roughly 5 million in 2010. That number makes climate change one of the leading causes of death in the world; for comparison, cancer causes about 7.6 million deaths per year.Patricia Levi
These deaths are caused by a variety of factors related to climate and carbon. A changing climate not only makes agriculture less productive in many areas of the world, decreasing access to food, but also leads to greater food spoilage from heat; these effects alone lead to diarrheal illnesses and hunger that caused around 310,000 deaths in 2010. Heat and cold illnesses, malarial and vector-borne diseases, meningitis and environmental disasters account for the rest of the almost 700,000 deaths attributable to these direct climate impacts. Pollution, indoor smoke, and occupational hazards related to the carbon economy cause the rest of those 5 million deaths through ailments like skin and lung cancer.
A California native, Patricia recently graduated Harvard and is still working there on atmospheric modeling of GHGs. The rest of the time, she loves to cook, go outside, and read up on the latest in environmental, energy, and political news.