By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Scientists say hotter temperatures speed up the chemical reactions that create air pollutants, which impact public health.

This research adds to growing evidence that the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative.

As climate change affects air pollution, scientists estimate 60,000 people could die in the year 2030 if it is not addressed.

New research says that in 2100, that number could jump to 260,000 people.

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“Air pollution affects things like, heart attacks, stroke, cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer,” Dr. Jason West, the study’s author, explained. “So, because air pollution affects those causes, it has a big effect on health.”

While the topic has become controversial in recent years, West says slowing down climate change could make a big difference for the county’s future health.

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“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions has a really big benefit for air pollution and therefore, for human health,” West said.

Previous studies suggest climate change can also lead to more heat related illness and spread infectious diseases.

Stephanie Stahl