Climate Change: Its Ill-Effects on Health

The increase in temperature in the atmosphere is more specifically called global warming. But the climate change is the current term favored by scientists, as it specifically includes not just the rising global average temperature as well as the impacts on the climate that result from this increase. Visit:-

Any gasthat has the ability to absorb the infrared radiation emanating from the Earth’s surface and radiating it back to Earth’s surface, is referred to as greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide, methane along with water vapour, are the principal greenhouse gases. Others greenhouse gasses include but aren’t just limited to, surface-level Ozone, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydro fluorocarbons, per fluorocarbons, and chlorofluorocarbons.

Though a naturally occurring phenomenon, the greenhouse effect can cause a warming effect on Earth’s surface and troposphere – which is the most breathable layer of atmosphere. Of all greenhouse gases, water vapor has the biggest impact.

One of the major causes of the greenhouse effect include burning of fossil fuels, such as coal oil and natural gas and deforestation, an increase in population, agriculture, and industrial wastes and landfills.

Greenhouse gases absorb heat from the atmosphere. With higher than normal concentrations they trigger unnaturally high temperatures. The main cause of the current global warming trend is the expansion of human activity in the greenhouse effect. This is a warming that results in the atmosphere absorbing heat radiating off of Earth toward space.

Even a tiny global temperature rise could have worrying consequences such as rising sea levels, displacement of populations disrupting the food supply, flooding, as well as negative effects on health. In fact humans’ health takes most of the negative effects of climate change.

The negative effects of climate change on health

The effects of climate change on human health mainly through two ways: first it can alter the severity or frequency of health conditions that are already affected by climate changes and second, by creating health issues in areas which they’ve never been present.

Effects of temperature increase Effects of temperature increase

Increased concentrations of greenhouse gas lead to an increase of both average and extreme temperatures. This could affect the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. In the absence of internal temperature regulation, it could result in a rash of health issues, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and hyperthermia in the conditions of intense heat and also hypothermia and frostbite when in temperatures that are extremely cold. Temperature extremes can also worsen chronic conditions such as respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and diabetes-related disorders.

Socially disengaged, economically depressed and those suffering from chronic illness are at risk of the negative effects of temperature increases.

The effects of air quality The effects of air quality

Climate change has modified weather patterns and, in turn, have changed the extent and the location of pollutants that pollute the air, such as ground-level ozone (O3) as well as fine particles. Increased CO2 (CO2) levels can also stimulate the expansion of plants which release airborne allergens. A higher level of pollen and longer pollen seasons can increase allergic sensitization and asthma attacks that can affect productivity at work and at school. A poor quality of air, whether indoors or out, can negatively impact the human cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Extreme events can cause extreme effects. —

Climate change causes an increase in the occurrence and severity of certain extreme events. They could have adverse health effects like injury or death in the course of an event, for example, drowning during floods. Health effects can also be experienced in the aftermath of an extreme event, because people involved in such activities as disaster preparation or post-event cleanup put their health at risk. The intensity and the extent of health risks related to extreme events depend on the physical impact of the events themselves.

Vector borne diseases –

Vector-borne diseases are spread by vectors, which include ticks, mosquitoes, as well as fleas. These vectors may carry infectious pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, that are transferred to a host (carrier) into another. The seasonality, distribution and incidence of these diseases are influenced greatly by the climate. Changes in climate are likely to be a factor in both short- as well as long-term consequences on vector-borne disease transmission as well as disease patterns, impacting the risk of disease and its seasonal incidence over time.

Water-related diseases

The climate change process is expected to affect both marine and fresh water resources in ways that increase people’s exposure to water-related contaminants which cause illness. Water-related illnesses include waterborne diseases caused by pathogens including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Water-related illnesses are also caused by toxins produced by harmful algae and by chemicals introduced into water bodies by human activities. Exposition occurs via ingestion of the water that is contaminated for drinking or recreation as well as through the consumption of contaminated marine food and fish.

Impacts on mental health —

Mental health consequences of climate change range from mild stress and depressive symptoms to more serious disorders such as depression, anxiety post-traumatic stress, suicidal tendencies. The elderly, children, women (especially pregnant women and post-partum women) and those with a an existing mental illness, those who are people who are financially disadvantaged and homeless are more exposed to the psychological effects.

Impacts on food quality and safety

Climate change is extremely likely to affect the regional, global and local food safety through disrupting the availability of food and reducing access to food sources and making it harder to utilize. Increased levels of CO2 may decrease the protein levels and other minerals essential to many of the most widely consumed crops such as wheat, rice and potatoes, which could have potential negative consequences for the human diet. The nutritional quality of food is more likely to impact adversely the vulnerable sections of the population.

Bottom line

In the past half century, humans’ activity has released enough carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases that trap more heat in the lower atmosphere , affecting the climate of our planet. Based on WHO (World health organization):

  • Climate change affects the environmental and social determinants of health. Clean air and safe drinking water, enough food, and a safe and secure shelter.
  • Between 2030 and 2050, climate change will likely cause about 250000 additional deaths per year due to malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea along with heat stress.

In view of the severe effects of climate change on human health, we all should work together to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases with better transportation, food and energy use choices that enhance our health especially through reduced air pollution.

Climate change has become an international issue due to the fact that it has a myriad of negative effects which include those that impact human health.Climate changes must be addressed by individuals

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