Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Climate change predicted to take big toll on Kiwis' mental and physical health

Our changing climate is expected to see some plants release eight-times more pollen by 2100, worsening hayfever symptoms.

Allergies will become more prevalent and their symptoms worse, drinking water will be less reliable, and poisonous pests may find a new home in New Zealand's warmer climate.

These are just a few of the effects climate change is expected to have on human health, according to a newly-released Royal Society report.

Kiwis may have to contend with more intense heat waves and extreme weather events, including flooding and fires, which would take a toll on mental health.

The invasive Australian redback spider has already appeared in Otago. But as our country gets warmer, it may spread to other places.

The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners said the stresses on children would compare to those growing up under the threat of nuclear war.

Royal Society president Richard Bedford said higher concentrations of CO2, increased temperatures and changes in rainfall were expected to extend growing seasons.

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