New Study Warns Climate Change Could Shave Six Months Off Human Lifespan

Dive into the latest study revealing a potential six-month decrease in the average human lifespan due to climate change.

Recently, a study published in the open-access journal PLOS Climate by Amit Roy from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology and The New School for Social Research, U.S. states that climate change might reduce the average human lifespan by six months. 

Temperature and rainfall, indicative of climate change, pose various public health risks, ranging from direct impacts like natural disasters to indirect consequences such as respiratory and mental illnesses. 

What is the study saying?

Despite well-documented effects, previous research has not established a direct link between climate change and life expectancy. To address this gap, the author examined temperature, rainfall, and life expectancy data from 191 countries spanning 1940–2020, using GDP per capita to account for country variations. 

The author introduced a unique composite climate change index, combining temperature and rainfall to assess the overall severity of climate change. The findings reveal that a 1°C global temperature increase is associated with an average reduction in human life expectancy by approximately 0.44 years, equivalent to about six months and one week. 

A 10-point rise in the composite climate change index, accounting for both temperature and rainfall, is predicted to decrease the average life expectancy by six months, with women and individuals in developing nations facing disproportionate impacts.

In addition to the study’s findings, Dr. Roy envisions that the composite climate change index can standardize global discussions on climate change, serving as an accessible metric for the general public. 

He hopes it will foster collaboration and friendly competition among countries to combat the impacts of climate change. According to the author, it is crucial to address the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to a changing environment. 


Dr. Roy emphasizes the importance of localized studies focusing on specific severe weather events, such as wildfires, tsunamis, and floods, as their impacts cannot be fully captured by analyzing temperature and rainfall alone. Stressing the urgency of treating climate change as a public health crisis, he underscores the need for mitigation efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and proactive initiatives to protect life expectancy and the well-being of populations worldwide. 

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Mousona Poddar

A passionate Content Writer who helps to scale your business by words with excellent research skills.

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