Climate Change Current Affairs - 2020

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WHO releases Global Health Challenges for 2020

Every year, the World Health Organization releases list of Global Health Challenges of the forth coming year. This year, on January 13, 2020, the organization had released the top global health challenges for the year.

Global Health Challenges

The list included 13 potential threats. The foremost threat was Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and climate crisis. The 2 threats have been on the top for the previous year, 2019 as well. The report says around 7 million people are affected because of climate change. Climate change has increased malnutrition and is fueling the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria. The other threats that have topped the list includes influenza epidemic and spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

More than one-quarter of death is due to stroke, heart attack, chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer. The chances of these diseases are increased by raising levels of air pollution.

A new entrant to the list of top 13 potential threats is Lack of Access. The report says that around a third of world population lack access to vaccines, diagnostic tools, medicines and other essential health products.

Shortage of health care workers is also the major global concern. WHO says that another 18 million health workers are required by 2030.

Above of all unhealthy food diets is also major threat. Lack of food, unhealthy diets and unsafe food are responsible for one-third of global disease burden.

Other Threats

The threats are not only diseases-related. It also includes other threats such as social media, infrastructure, human resources and new technologies. The misinformation about diseases in social media is a major threat as it is spread false fears among people. Also, delivering health care in conflict ridden areas is also the biggest challenge according to WHO.

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IMD’s State of Climate Report: 2019 the seventh warmest year since 1901

On January 7, 2020, the International Meteorological Organisation released its “State of Climate Report” for the year 2019. According to the report, the climate change has claimed 1,659 lives in India in the year 2019. 2019 is the seventh warmest year since 1901. The temperatures were not high as compared to 2016 (the warmest year so far) mainly due to weak El Nino in the Pacific.

Highlights of the report

The extreme weather events that occurred in the country in the year 2019 were all linked to climate change. It includes cyclones, floods, heat waves, cold waves, landslides, etc. Of all the states, Bihar reported highest deaths (650) due to extreme weather events. Of these 300 died in floods and 350 died due to heat waves. Following Bihar, other states such as Maharashtra, UP, Kerala, Rajasthan and Karnataka showed high numbers of deaths due to extreme weather events.

New Delhi recorded the longest cold wave duration of 18 days since 1902.

Storms

There were 8 cyclonic storms that were formed in the Indian seas. Of these, around 5 were formed in Arabian sea. This was unusual as compared to the usual one per year. The cyclones in Arabian sea was 400% more than usual.

The report also stated that heavy rains claimed 850 lives. Heat waves that was stronger in North Eastern and western parts claimed 350 lives.

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