The climate crisis and the extreme rains that follow

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The climate crisis and the extreme rains that follow

Climatologists calculate that the release into the atmosphere of quantities of CO2 above a certain limit value would lead to a series of incalculable events: already a rise in temperatures of two degrees, set as the maximum limit by the Paris Accords, could have negative effects for the life on the planet.

If average emissions of 40 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent to humanity are maintained, only a few years remain, depending on the carbon budget considered, before completely exhausting the amount of CO2 available; after which it would no longer be allowed to emit any type of greenhouse gas, due to the earth system's ability to absorb these gases only in the long term.

The climate crisis, among other side effects, is causing a change and consequent increase in extreme weather events. The study: Extreme weather events in Europe and their health consequences - A systematic review, published on the International journal of hygiene and environmental health, said us: "Due to climate change, the frequency, intensity and severity of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, cold waves, storms, heavy precipitation causing wildfires, floods, and droughts are increasing, which could adversely affect human health.

The purpose of this systematic review is therefore to assess the current literature about the association between these extreme weather events and their impact on the health of the European population. Observational studies published from January 1, 2007 to May 17, 2020 on health effects of extreme weather events in Europe were searched systematically in Medline, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.

The exposures of interest included extreme temperatures, heat waves, cold waves, droughts, floods, storms and wildfires. The health impacts included total mortality, cardiovascular mortality and morbidity, respiratory mortality and morbidity, and mental health.

We conducted the systematic review following PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-analysis). The quality of the included studies was assessed using the NICE quality appraisal checklist (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).

The search yielded 1472 articles, of which 35 met the inclusion criteria and were included in our review. Studies regarding five extreme weather events (extreme heat events, extreme cold events, wildfires, floods, droughts) were found.

A positive association between extreme heat / cold events and overall, cardiovascular and respiratory mortality was reported from most studies. Wildfires are likely to increase the overall and cardiovascular mortality. Floods might be associated with the deterioration of mental health instead of mortality.

Depending on their length, droughts could have an influence on both respiratory and cardiovascular mortality. Contradictory evidence was found in heat-associated morbidity and wildfire-associated respiratory mortality. The associations are inconclusive due to the heterogeneous study designs, study quality, exposure and outcome assessment.

Evidence from most of the included studies showed that extreme heat and cold events, droughts, wildfires and floods in Europe have negative impacts on human health including mental health, although some of the associations are not conclusive.

Additional high-quality studies are needed to confirm our results and further studies regarding the effects of other extreme weather events in Europe are to be expected. "