27 Jun, 2023 @ 12:00
1 min read

Spain to launch department to study effects of climate change on health

Spain to launch department to study effects of heatwaves on health
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WHILE SPAIN swelters in its first summer heatwave of the year- expected to run until Thursday- the government has announced plans for a a new department to investigate and alleviate the effects of extreme temperatures on human health.

A proposal for a new Health and Climate Change Observatory will be taken to the Council of Ministers in July, following a meeting between Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera and meteorologists in Madrid on Monday.

With summer temperatures reaching new extremes, Teresa Ribera said the country’s rising temperatures put vulnerable populations at risk, and more work is needed to understand how to prepare for longer, hotter summers.

Ribera stressed that we saw a heat wave even ‘before the start of summer’, and has added that they are heat waves that are increasingly ‘terrifying’ and recurrent in recent years and are linked to climate change.”

She recalled that last summer saw ’41 days and nights typical of the tropical climate’ and has asked weather experts to explain what is the best way to explain these meteorological phenomena.

“We must investigate what happens to our bodies in response to the effects of climate change, in order to mitigate the consequences on our health,” Ribera said.

The minister explained that she is finalising, together with the Ministry of Health, preparatory work to launch the health observatory with a climate perspective backed by technical support from the Carlos III Institute.

Some of the meteorologists who attended the meeting expressed the importance of continuing to disseminate climate information and to explain the effect’s of global warming on people’s health.

The meteorologist at broadcaster TVE Albert Barniol has pointed out that in the world of meteorological information it is increasingly common to have ‘important collaboration and solidarity’ between colleagues to share data and ways of communicating, and stressed that it is ‘fundamental’ not only to talk about the phenomena but also about the consequences of them for people,

That’s because, he concluded, summer is now the ‘most dangerous’ season of the year.


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