Climate change ‘invisible illness’ choking the health system

23.11.16 By

Australia can expect more extreme weather events that place pressure on the health sector under a changing climate, the Climate Council said today.

Hospitals in Melbourne were overwhelmed yesterday after a mass incident of ‘thunderstorm asthma’.

The Climate Council’s recently released report Super-charged storms in Australia: The Influence of Climate Change found the annual frequency of potential severe thunderstorm days is likely to rise by 30% for Sydney, 22% for Melbourne and 14% for Brisbane by the end of century.

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie said more extreme weather events due to climate change meant more pressure on the health sector.

“As we can see through this ‘thunderstorm asthma’ incident in Melbourne, these pressures won’t necessarily manifest in predictable ways,” she said.

“So while we can prepare the health sector and emergency services, we also have to treat the actual problem.

“Climate change action is an absolute priority if we are to Australians from worsening extreme weather events.”

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