India more vulnerable to heat extremes: Lancet report

  • IASbaba
  • October 21, 2021
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India more vulnerable to heat extremes: Lancet report

Part of: Prelims and GS-III – Environment; Climate change 

Context The Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change’ was recently launched. 

  • It is a flagship report of the medical journal The Lancet. 
  • It provides periodic updates on the scientific literature on the relationship between climate change and public health.
  • The Lancet Countdown’s sixth annual report tracks 44 indicators of health impacts that are directly linked to climate change. 
  • It shows key trends are getting worse and exacerbating already existing health and social inequities.

What are its key findings? 

  • India’s vulnerability: India has become 15% more vulnerable to extremes of heat than in 1990. 
  • Senior citizens: Chinese, Indian, American, Japanese and Indonesian senior citizens were the most affected.
  • Loss of Work hours: 295 billion hours of potential work were lost across the globe in 2020 due to heat exposure. 
  • Most affected developing countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh and India had the greatest losses of the working hours in their group. 
  • Heat-related mortality: Between 2018 and 2019, India and Brazil had the biggest absolute increase in heat-related mortality.
  • Economic loss: The economic losses of climate-related extreme events were three times higher in medium-HDI countries than they are in very high HDI countries. 
    • South-East Asia was the only region with increasing air pollution mortality costs between 2015 and 2019, relative to GDP
  • Increase in wildfires: Populations of 134 countries have experienced an increase in exposure to wildfires. 
  • Widespread drought: Drought is more widespread than ever before.

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