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Commentary: We can no longer ignore the health risks of climate change in Asia

Commentary: We can no longer ignore the health risks of climate change in Asia

Asia is particularly vulnerable due to its increased exposure to the effects of climate change, says an observer.

SEATTLE: Surface air temperatures over land have increased by around 1.5 degrees Celsius in the last 150 years, leading to adverse impacts on human health and well-being.

Further warming will magnify these risks, depending on the extent of emissions reduction and investment in building climate-resilient health systems.

Asia is particularly vulnerable due to increased exposure to the consequences of climate change. It is projected to experience increases in ambient temperatures, extreme precipitation events and sea level rise.

These will have health consequences, including temperature-related morbidity and mortality, injuries and deaths from extreme weather events, vector-borne diseases and undernutrition.

Asia has already experienced an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones, floods, droughts and heatwaves, resulting in significant numbers of injuries and deaths.

The region is particularly at risk because of the large and growing populations, long coastlines, abundant low-lying areas and reliance on the agricultural sector and natural resources.

Increasing unpredictability of the annual monsoon is of particular concern in Southeast Asia. These vulnerabilities amplify climate-related risks in many countries.
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