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.
- These are the most populous countries in the medium-HDI (Human Development Index) 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.