By Frederick H. Lowe
Blacks and other non-whites living in the United States should prepare for more heat-related deaths and an increase in the severity and frequency of allergic diseases, including asthma and hay fever, because of climate change according to a comprehensive report published by the Washington, D.C. -based U.S. Global Change Research Program.
“Populations including older adults, children, low-income communities and some communities of color are often disproportionately affected by, and less resilient to, the health impacts of climate change,” the report said.
The global average temperature has increased 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit from 1901 to 2016 due to human emissions, especially those caused by green-house or heat-trapping gases, the report said. African Americans are three times more likely to die of asthma than white Americans, according to the web site WebMD.
The report, titled “The National Climate Assessment,” is one of four reports concerning climate change that must be delivered to the president and Congress every four years.
“This assessment was written to help inform decision-makers, utility and natural resource managers, public health officials, emergency planners, and other stakeholders by providing a thorough examination of the effects of climate change on the United States, “ the report noted.
The report also noted that “rising air and water temperatures and more intense extreme events are expected to increase exposure to waterborne and foodborne diseases, affecting food and water safety.”