Unchecked emissions could double heat-related child mortality
If carbon emissions are limited to slow temperature rise, up to an estimated 6,000 child deaths could be prevented in Africa each year, according to new research.
A team of international scientists, led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), have shown that thousands of heat-related child deaths could be prevented if temperature increases are limited to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC target through to 2050.
However, heat-related child deaths could double in sub-Saharan Africa by mid-century if high emissions continue.
Their workpublished in the journal Environmental Research Letters, estimated the impact of climate change on annual heat-related deaths of children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa, from 1995 — 2050.
The findings show that since roughly 2009, heat-related child mortality has been at least double what it would have been without climate change.
The heat mortality increase from climate change caused by human activities and population growth outweighed reductions in heat-related death due to improvements associated with development, such as improved healthcare and sanitation measures.
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