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Health and Environment – Climate Change and Global Warming

Health and Environment – Climate Change and Global Warming

During the last few decades, marked increases in global climates have created a domino effect by negatively impacting our oceans, water ecosystems, animals and humans. Researchers have recorded noticeable upward trends in diseases that have affected humans and many land animals as a direct result of global warming. There are many factors that influence the health of human beings, including internal and external stressors such as a harsh environment, economics and social networks. For this reason, the negative effects of climate change differ depending on the geographic area and culture. Even so, many people still feel the effects of global warming in indirect ways as well when affected food and goods are traded so frequently around the world. Due to all of these variable factors, it can be complex to accurately predict how much climate change really affects our health.

Direct Temperature Effects

The main change that global warming brings about is that temperatures around the world increase. In areas that are already warm, this can lead to dangerous heat waves and dry spells. People with respiratory and heart issues as well as seniors, children, infants and homeless individuals are all likely to be most affected.

Extreme Events

The change in climate can start a chain of more severe and successive weather occurrences that can be classified as extreme. This includes flooding caused by the higher water temperatures in oceans, less precipitation, hurricanes and soaring temperature. There are numerous diseases and disorders that can be caused in humans and animals alike as a result of this, and scientists are already predicting an increase in the number of climate-related fatalities.

Climate-Sensitive Diseases

Increases in temperatures can cause numerous indirectly related illnesses by influencing the rapid growth of bacteria and mosquitoes that transmit diseases such as yellow fever and malaria. Water-borne diseases, including cholera, would similarly increase and ocean ecosystems would choke if algae growth became uncontrollable. The change in precipitation and humidity levels could alter the survival conditions of some creatures, such as ticks, making them more likely to overpopulate. While Africa is predicted to experience the brunt of these health impacts, North America, Britain, India and Australia are also likely to feel the effects.

Air Quality

Air quality levels are another aspect that is likely to change as a consequence of global warming. In urban areas, smog and other pollution will be more prevalent due to the warmer temperatures. Constant intake of this heavily polluted air can put people more at risk for respiratory illnesses such as asthma and lung damage. This can be exacerbated by higher amounts of ozone at our level that would be trapped by the increased light and heat. Numerous other health issues would likewise increase as particulate matter increases in the air and is breathed in regularly.

Other Health Linkages

Apart from the numerous factors already listed, there are other ways in which our rapidly changing climate could influence our health. Reduced crop harvests due to heat waves could create food shortages in many areas, especially those that are already poverty-stricken. In turn, it could easily increase issues related to malnourishment. Changes in food supply could inevitably also create an economic crisis, changes in society, work shortages and more since our social system is so interdependent.