Discussion: Climate change and a deepening global health crisis

The World
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Rescuers recovered more bodies on Monday from the severe flooding that devastated parts of Turkey's Black Sea coast last week, bringing the death toll to 72, officials said.

Torrential rains battered the country’s northwestern Black Sea provinces on Aug. 11, causing floods that demolished homes and bridges, swept away cars and blocked access to numerous roads.

The heavy flooding came as countries across southern Europe and North Africa endured a searing heat wave that has aggravated deadly wildfires in the region that have consumed forests in southern Italy, Greece, Turkey and North Africa. The extreme weather elsewhere around the globe has also been linked to fires in Russia and across the west coast of North America.

Related: Athens’ first-ever chief heat officer says historic heat wave feels ominous, like a 'prequel' of the city's future

Climate scientists say there’s little doubt that climate change from the burning of coal, oil and natural gas is driving more extreme events — such as heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods and storms — as the planet warms.

The World Meteorological Organization said temperatures being recorded in the Mediterranean region go well beyond the typical hot, dry August weather, and instead “are extreme and what we might expect from climate change.”

The major wildfires, deadly heat and massive flooding this summer are costing lives and exacerbating health conditions and disparities.

As part of The World's regular series of discussions on global health with Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Environment Editor and Correspondent Carolyn Beeler moderated a conversation with Renee Salas, an emergency medicine physician and Yerby Fellow at the Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment at Harvard, who addressed how extreme weather impacts health and is deepening a crisis at the intersection of climate change and health.

This conversation was presented in partnership with The Forum at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The AP contributed to this post.

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