Climate Change: Its Ill-Effects on Health

The increase in temperature in the atmosphere is more specifically called global warming. However, the term “climate change” is the current term favored by scientists, as it includes not only the increasing temperature of the global average and the effects on climate caused by the increase.

Any gas, which has the ability to absorb infrared radiation from the Earth’s surface before radiating it back to the Earth’s surface, is known as greenhouse gas. Mesthane, carbon dioxide as well as water vapour are among the most important greenhouse gases. Other greenhouse gases include, but aren’t only limited to surface-level ozone and nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydro fluorocarbons per fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons.

While it’s not a natural process, the greenhouse effect results in a warming of Earth’s surface and troposphere – the bottom layer of the atmosphere. Out of the greenhouse gases, water vapor has the largest effect.

Some important causes of greenhouse effect are the burning of fossil fuels such as coal oil and natural gas as well as deforestation, growth in the population, farming and industrial wastes, as well as landfills.

Greenhouse gases hold heat in the atmosphere. With higher than normal concentrations they can cause an unnaturally warm climate. The primary cause for the current trend of global warming is the expansion of human activity in the greenhouse effect, a warming that occurs from the trapping of heat radiating from Earth towards space. Visit:-

Even a small global temperature increase can have troubling consequences like rising sea levels, displacement of people and disruptions to food supply, floods, and adverse health effects. In reality our health and wellbeing bears most of the effects of climate change.

The negative effects of climate change on health

The effects of climate change on human health mainly in two ways: first, by changing the frequency or severity of health conditions already affected by climate factors and, secondly, by creating health problems in locations which they’ve never occured.

The effect of temperature rise –

The rising concentrations of greenhouse gases lead to an increase of both average and extreme temperatures. This may affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Loss of internal temperature regulation could lead to a chain reaction of health issues, such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and hyperthermia in the presence of extreme heat, as well as frostbite and hypothermia in temperatures that are extremely cold. Extreme temperatures can also exacerbate chronic illnesses like cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cerebro-vascular disease, and diabetes-related ailments.

People who work outdoors, those who are socially disengaged, economically depressed and people with chronic illnesses are more susceptible to the negative effects of temperature increases.

Air quality effects Effects of air quality

Changes in climate have altered patterns of weather, which in turn have affected the amount and locations of air pollutants in the outdoors such as ground-level ozone (O3) along with fine particle matter. In addition, rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels also aid in the increase in plants that emit airborne allergens. The higher concentration of pollens and the longer periods of pollen season can cause allergic sensitization and asthma episodes, thereby limiting productivity at work and school. A poor quality of air, indoors or outdoors, may negatively impact the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of the human body.

Impacts of extreme events –

Climate change causes increases in occurrence and severity of certain extreme events. They may have health consequences like injury or death during an event, for example, drowning during floods. Additionally, health impacts can occur in the aftermath of the event as individuals involved in activities such as preparation for disasters and post-event cleanup can put their health in danger. The severity and magnitude of the health impacts associated with extreme events depend on the physical effects of the extreme events themselves.

Vector borne diseases –

Diseases that are vector-borne can be transmitted by vectors that include mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. They can transmit infectious pathogens such as viruses, protozoa and bacteria, which can be transferred by one person (carrier) to another. The frequency, duration and frequency of these diseases are influenced significantly by climate. Climate change will be a factor in both short- as well as long-term consequences on vector-borne disease transmission and the patterns of infection, which will affect the risk of developing seasonal illness as well as occurrence over decades.

Water-related illnesses –

Climate change is expected to impact fresh and marine waters in ways that could increase people’s exposure to contaminants in the water that cause diseases. Water-related illnesses include waterborne diseases caused by pathogens, such as bacteria or protozoa. These diseases are also caused by the toxins created by harmful algae and by chemicals introduced into waterways by human activities. Exposure occurs through ingestion or direct contact with polluted drinking or recreational water as well as through the consumption of contaminated seafood and other marine foods.

The effects of mental health”

Mental health impacts of climate change vary from minimal stress and distress symptoms to more serious disorders like depression, anxiety post-traumatic stress, suicidal tendencies. Children, the elderly women (especially pregnant women and post-partum women) or those who have a an existing mental illness, those who are economically disadvantaged, and homeless are more exposed to the mental health effects of climate change.

Effects on food security and quality

Climate change is extremely likely to impact the global, regional and local food safety by disrupting food availability as well as limiting access to food , and making it more difficult to use. The higher concentrations of CO2 could reduce the amount of protein and essential minerals found in numerous commonly consumed crops like rice, wheat, and potatoes, with the potential for negative impacts on human nutrition. Poor nutritional quality of food can affect negatively the most vulnerable segments of the population.

The bottom line

In the past half century, humans’ activities have produced enough carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which trap additional heat in the atmospheric layer and alter the climate of our planet. Based on WHO (World Health Organisation):

  • Climate change impacts the social and environmental determinants of health, such as clean air clean drinking water nutritious food sources and safe shelter.
  • Between 2030 until 2050, climate change will likely cause about 250000 more deaths each year, caused by malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea or heat exhaustion.

In view of the devastating effects of climate change on human health, all of us should work together to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by making better transportation as well as food and energy options to improve our health , particularly through reduced air pollution.

Climate change has become an issue for the entire world because it has a myriad of negative effects, including those on human health.Climate change needs to be addressed by individuals

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