Heat, disease, air pollution: How climate change impacts health


The changing climate means that mosquitoes, birds and mammals will roam beyond their previous habitats, raising the threat that they could spread infectious diseases with them.

Mosquito-borne diseases that pose a greater risk of spreading due to climate change include dengue, chikungunya, Zika, West Nile virus and malaria.

The transmission potential for dengue alone will increase by 36 per cent with 2 degrees Celsius warming, the Lancet Countdown report warned.

Storms and floods create stagnant water that are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and also increase the risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea.

Scientists also fear that mammals straying into new areas could share diseases with each other, potentially creating new viruses that could then jump over to humans.


Worrying about the present and future of our warming planet has also provoked rising anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress – particularly for people already struggling with these disorders, psychologists have warned.

In the first 10 months of the year, people searched online for the term “climate anxiety” 27 times more than during the same period in 2017, according to data from Google Trends cited by the BBC this week.

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