Climate Extremes and Global Health

New Ways to Make Progress

A helicopter dropping water on the Carr fire in California, July 2018 Fred Greaves / Reuters

The last few years have brought a string of terrible news about the global climate. Politically, the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change is stalling. The United States has announced that it will abandon the pact, and no other country has stepped up to fill the vacuum. Emissions rose 1.4 percent last year and no major industrialized country is on track to meet the emission control pledges it made in Paris, which means that the world is way off track to meeting the target of limiting warming to two degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures. Scientifically, the news is even grimmer. New research in climate science indicates that extreme events, such as heat waves, the collapse of major ice sheets, and mass extinctions, are becoming dramatically more probable. And the evidence is mounting that climate change will have an extreme impact on human health into the near future.

These two strands of bad

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