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Major Inverse Effects of Climate Change on Human Health

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As a result of global warming, the temperature of the atmosphere is increasing. Climate change is the term used to describe the warming of Earth’s average global temperature as well as its impacts on the environment. 

As greenhouse gases absorb infrared radiation, the Earth reflects it. Global warming is caused by water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane. Fluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and chlorofluorocarbons are also greenhouse gases. Other greenhouse gasses include sulfur hexafluoride, nitrous oxide, and ozone at the surface level.

Natural phenomena such as the greenhouse effect cause the surface and troposphere of the Earth to warm. The greatest impact of water vapor on the environment comes from its role as a greenhouse gas. In the atmosphere, carbon dioxide is released by burning fuels, deforestation, population growth, farming, industrial waste, and landfilling.

Heat is trapped in the atmosphere by the greenhouse effect. When these compounds are concentrated in high concentrations, they cause unnatural warming. As a result of the greenhouse effect, Earth’s heat is trapped in the atmosphere, causing global warming.

A rise in global temperatures can negatively affect the health of the planet in addition to disrupting the food supply, causing flooding, and displacing people. The impact of climate change on human health is one of the most significant.

  • The effects of climate change on health are numerous:

There are two ways in which climate change affects human health: first, by causing new health problems in places where none previously existed; and second, by modifying the severity or frequency of those already present.

  • An increase in temperature has the following effects:

As greenhouse gases enter the atmosphere, average and extreme temperatures increase as a result of climate change. Temperature regulation can be compromised as a result. Many illnesses can occur as a result of a loss of internal temperature regulation, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, hypothermia, and frostbite. It is also possible for extreme temperatures to aggravate cardiovascular, respiratory, cerebrovascular, and diabetic conditions.

Rising temperatures are more likely to negatively affect those who work outdoors, live in social isolation, suffer from chronic illnesses, and are economically disadvantaged.

  • There are several effects of air quality:

Climate change has impacted weather patterns, affecting pollutants such as fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone (O3). Furthermore, increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) promote the growth of plants that produce allergens. Pollen concentrations or long pollen seasons may increase allergic sensitization and asthma episodes, reducing school and work productivity. Poor air quality can negatively affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems of humans.

  • Extreme events have the following effects:

Climate change is causing extreme weather events to become more frequent and severe, which may have health implications, including drowning during floods. Before and after extreme events, individuals involved in disaster preparation and cleanup can experience health effects. Extreme events can have varying degrees of severity and extent depending on their physical impacts.

  • The following diseases are vector-borne:

Vector-borne diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. Pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa can be transmitted between hosts by these vectors. Climate has a significant impact on vector-borne diseases in terms of their seasonality, distribution, and prevalence. 

Climate change is likely to affect virus-borne diseases and vector-borne disease infection patterns both short- and long-term, affecting seasonal risk and disease frequency.

  • Infections caused by water:

Climate change is likely to affect virus-borne diseases and vector-borne disease infection patterns both short- and long-term, affecting seasonal risk and disease frequency in addition to toxins produced by harmful algae, chemicals introduced by humans into water sources can cause water-related illnesses. Consumption of contaminated fish and seafood, direct contact with contaminated drinking or recreational water, or ingestion of contaminated drinking or recreational water are all ways that people are exposed

  • The effects on mental health are as follows:

Among the mental health issues associated with climate change are anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and suicidal tendencies. Children, women (especially those who have given birth, are pregnant, or are just postpartum), people with preexisting mental illnesses, the economically disadvantaged, and the homeless are most affected by mental health problems.

  • Safety and quality of food are affected:

On a global, regional, and local scale, climate change is likely to affect food availability, access, and utilization. The amount of protein and essential minerals can be negatively affected by higher CO2 concentrations in crops such as wheat, rice, and potatoes. Poor food quality is more likely to adversely affect vulnerable groups in society.

Bottom line:

Human activities have contributed to global warming by releasing large quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses over the past 30 years. According to WHO (World Health Organization):

Clean air, safe drinking water, adequate food, and adequate shelter are among the social and environmental determinants of health that are affected by climate change. 

As a result of climate change’s serious health consequences, we must all reduce greenhouse gas emissions through better transportation, food, and energy choices. Individual nations and individuals living in those nations must address climate change as a result of its myriad ill effects on human health.

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