Medical experts say climate change affects human health in direct ways, by the spread of water- and mosquito-borne diseases for example, and indirectly, such as through hunger.

Here is a snapshot of the problem:

- Thousands more dead -

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change could result in nearly 250,000 deaths per year -- an estimated 38,000 from high temperatures, 48,000 deaths from diarrhoea, 60,000 from malaria and 95,000 from malnutrition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

By 2030, the direct damage costs to health will be a whopping two to four billion US dollars (1.9 to 3.8 billion euros) per year, according to the WHO.

- Cause and effect -

Patrice Halimi, the secretary general of France's environmental health association, said it is a multi-faceted issue.

"Like any other slow-onset disaster, there is not one cause that leads to one effect," he said. "It's a series of events."

Halimi said it is not necessarily global warming itself that would lead to a cholera epidemic, but warmer temperatures conducive to deadly outbreaks.

Robert Barouki of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research said that the real difficulty lies in "measuring the part that global warming plays in health issues."

- Direct links -

Scorching temperatures can cause cardiovascular and respiratory problems, especially in elderly people.

"There have always been heatwaves, but their frequency and intensity have increased," Barouki said.

During the widespread 2003 heatwave in Europe, more than 70,000 deaths were recorded.

And with more sunlight comes more UV-related risks, like skin cancer, Barouki said.

Climate change will also lead to increased deaths from natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.

Weather-related disasters have tripled since the 1960s, WHO says, adding that "every year, these disasters result in over 60,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries."

- Infectious diseases -

Halimi says global warming will facilitate the spread of infectious diseases which depend on carriers such as mosquitoes.

WHO said that climate change is likely to lengthen the transmission seasons of these "vector-borne" diseases -- which are spread by a vector, or carrier -- and to alter their geographic range. Malaria already kills around 800,000 people per year, according to WHO.

Mosquitoes also spread the deadly dengue fever, and some studies suggest that global warming could lead to two billion more people being at risk from the disease by 2080.

The UN agency estimates that China will see an increase in a disease called Schistosomiasis, spread by snails in many underdeveloped regions. Some 240 million people worldwide already suffer from Schistosomiasis.

- Pollution and asthma -

Bruno Housset, head of the French Federation of Pneumology, says an increase in forest fires caused by global warming, especially in the north, would result in more fine particles in the air. These particles are capable of penetrating deep into the lungs and can lead to lung cancer and asthma.

Around 300 million people suffer from asthma worldwide, and WHO says the "ongoing temperature increases are expected to increase this burden."

Warmer temperatures will also likely help allergy-inducing plants multiply, with Europe's pollen concentration expected to swell fourfold by 2050.

Related stories

Extreme weather events dominated Australia in 2016

New malaria vaccine pilots in Africa

Spate of chikungunya deaths reported in the Indian capital

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.