The Atlantic

A Contested Finding in a Major New Climate-Change Report

A new study in The Lancet makes the case that global warming is already ailing public health worldwide, but experts disagree on its methodology.
Source: Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters

Climate change is already afflicting human health worldwide, exposing tens of millions of elderly people to excess heat while possibly reducing the ability of hundreds of millions of workers to do their jobs, according to an expansive new synthesis from The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most widely cited medical journals.

The report examines dozens of statistics from around the planet and finds that the long-predicted effects of climate change have already become a reality in many places. Heat waves now last longer, reaching more people and broiling more territory, than they did in the 1980s and 1990s. In the United States, this spike in warmth is lengthening the allergy season, sometimes by weeks, and helping infectious diseases to spread.

But one of its techniques is questionable. Its findings about the global economy

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