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It’s been known for some time that babies whose mothers are exposed to air pollution have a higher chance of being born with birth defects. However, new research has emerged showing that in addition to the risks from air pollution, mothers who are exposed to extreme heat during the early stages of their pregnancy have a higher chance of their babies being born with congenital heart defects (CHDs). A new study in the Journal of the American Heart Associationfound that higher temperatures caused by climate change could result in as many as 7,000 additional cases of CHDs in the United States between 2025 and 2035.
As the Hill explained,Midwestern states such as Iowa will potentially have the highest increase in mothers exposed to excessively hot days during the spring and summer months, followed by the southern states such as Georgia and North Carolina. The study states that maternal heat exposure during early pregnancy may directly cause fetal cell death or interfere with protein synthesis via heat‐shock proteins and induce severe fetal malformations as has been observed in animal studies. As global temperatures continue to rise, more intense, frequent, and longer‐lasting heat events are expected to occur yet significant gaps remain in understanding the potential impact of climate change on maternal heat exposures and the associated CHD risks.
Why This Matters: We need a lot more research to understand just how a warming planet will affect human health as we likely just understand the tip of the iceberg. Research like this is really scary but we have to know what we’re up against and how high the stakes are to reduce global emissions. This also underscores the need for our lawmakers (especially our president) to acknowledge climate change, understand the serious risk that it poses to our existence, and to do something about it. It seems as if children in America have a better understanding of climate change and its impacts than adults do, as was made evident on Jimmy Kimmel’s show Tuesday night:
By WW0 Staff For the United States, the post-Trump, pre-COP26 road to Glasgow has been paved with ambition and humility. In a major speech, the President’s Envoy, John Kerry, previewed the results of his climate diplomacy before heading into two weeks of intense deliberations of world leaders. Speaking at the London School of Economics — […]
Next week, the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow will draw hundreds of world leaders to Glasgow to determine the path forward five years after the Paris Climate Agreement (for a primer, read this) as new science underscores the urgency. The conference aims to squeeze countries to strengthen the commitments they’ve made towards securing global net-zero […]
By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor In a report released last week, the Department of Defense (DOD) confirmed that existing risks and security challenges in the US are being made worse due to “increasing temperatures; changing precipitation patterns; and more frequent, intense, and unpredictable extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Now, the Pentagon is […]
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