Climate change will soon begin to alter the very structure of our brains, study warns
A recent study has brought into focus the potential consequences of climate change on
The potential implications of climate change on the human brain are far-reaching. Previous research has already shown that adverse environmental factors can have serious effects on the human brain systems, changing its
The researchers thus warn that changes in our brain structure and function, an inevitable consequence of worsening and more frequent natural disasters, could lead to impaired cognitive abilities, increased mental health issues, and altered decision-making processes. These effects could have significant consequences for individuals, communities, and society as a whole.
Thus, to better understand and address the impacts of climate change on the human brain, the researchers ask for more cross-disciplinary neuroscience and climate change research. More specifically, they implore for research examining the impact on the human brain after being exposed to more severe weather events like heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes, forest fires and floods.
Neuroscience, with its ability to delve into the intricate workings of the brain, can provide valuable insights into the mechanisms by which climate-induced stressors affect brain function and behaviour. Understanding the impact of climate change on the human brain is crucial for developing effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
“Both brain function and climate change are highly complex areas,” notes co-author Dr Mathew White. “We need to start seeing them as interlinked, and to take action to protect our brains against the future realities of climate change, and start using our brains better to cope with what is already happening and prevent the worse-case scenarios."
The findings of this research have been published in Nature Climate Change and can be accessed here.
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