Climate Change and Health

Climate change has been hovering around everywhere and impacting almost everythings from extinction of thousands of species to loss in the crop production, escalating  attack of insects and pest to rise in the mercury, desertification and list goes on.  And, Climate change has left  no stone unturned to affect most crucial part of the human life i.e Human health.

In fact WHO states, “Although global warming may bring some localized benefits, such as fewer winter deaths in temperate climates and increased food production in certain areas, the overall health effects of a changing climate are likely to be overwhelmingly negative. Climate change affects social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.”

Many of us might presume there’s benefit of Climate Change upto certain level but I would prefer to call it Hansel-and-Gretel-Chocolate-House effects. The little benefits like increase in production of certains crops is over won by the  rapid decrease in the crops of major crops and breakout of the new incurable diseases. On this report I would like to focus on how climate change is affecting our health.

High temperature coupled with increase at ozone level has exacerbated the cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. To be factual in  heat wave of summer 2003 in Europe for example, more than 70 000 excess deaths were recorded.(WHO)

The rise in the sea level  might force millions of people who live across the sea by 60 KM to migrate which can escalate the number of health risk ranging from mental disorder to communicable diseases. Flooding and other weather/climate induced extreme events which cause property, demolishing of the buildings and infrastructure, loss of the family and other aftermaths will increase the mental diseases as well. Also the erratic rain pattern ( prime source of fresh drinking water especially among developing countries) might cause the scarcity of drinking water. This deciphers compromising of the hygiene and sanitation. Finally diarrhea and Cholera break out, which will take the lives of millions of children. Heavy rainfall can increase water borne disease like Cryptosporidium and Giardia .

Higher air temperatures can increase cases of salmonella and other bacteria-related food poisoning because bacteria grow more rapidly in warm environments. These diseases can cause gastrointestinal distress and, in severe cases, death. (EPA) In addition, food shortage and malnutrition are the other nightmare of the climate change that has already engulfed developing countries and are striding towards developed nation.

As the ambient temperature of a region rises, it affects the region’s ecology and may create conditions in which populations of disease-carrying animals or insects can increase. Disease vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, and flies may occur in greater numbers over longer periods during the year, and expand the locations in which they thrive. Thus, increasing the attack by insects and pest. (NIH)

To put it in nutshell, Climate change is incursing us from the every corner. Its not a time to collect for more facts but rather create a shield to protect ourselves. To safeguard glorious human civilization from the predicament we created ourselves. The only solution it change our behaviour and attitude towards the nature. We need to understand carrying capacity of our earth, change our consuming behaviour accordingly and nurture environmental friendly behaviour.

It’s only after you do it. I do it and WE do it, finally we can make the change and control Climate change.


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