The increase in temperature in the atmosphere is known as global warming. However, climate change is the current term favored by scientists because it includes not only the rising global average temperature and the impacts on the climate that result from the increase.
Any gas that has the capability of absorbing the infrared radiation that is emitted by the Earth’s surface and radiating it back towards Earth’s surface, is known as a greenhouse gas. The greenhouse gases are methane and carbon dioxide as well as water vapor are among the most significant greenhouse gases. Other greenhouse gasses include but aren’t restricted to, at-surface ozone, nitrous dioxide sulfur hexafluoride fluorocarbons perfluorocarbons, and chlorofluorocarbons.
While it’s a natural phenomenon that occurs naturally, the greenhouse effect causes a warming of the troposphere and surface of Earth – the bottom stratum of our atmosphere. Of all greenhouse gases, water vapor is the most significant impact.
A few of the main causes of the greenhouse effects are the burning of fossil fuels, like coal natural gas, oil, and coal and deforestation, an increase in population, agriculture and industrial wastes, as well as landfills.
Greenhouse gases absorb heat from the atmosphere. In higher than normal levels they cause an unnaturally warm climate. The principal cause behind the current trend of global warming is the expansion of human activity in the greenhouse effect. This is a temperature rise that happens from the trapping of the heat that is radiating from Earth towards space.
A modest global temperature increase can have grave consequences, such as the rise of sea levels, displacement of people and disruptions to the food supply, floods, and adverse health effects. In actual the health of humans bears the brunt of the effects of climate change.
Climate change’s negative impacts on health
The effects of climate change on human health in two ways: one by altering the frequency or severity of health conditions that are already impacted by the climate, and secondly the creation of health issues in locations which they’ve never occurred.
The effects of temperature increases
Growing concentrations of greenhouse gases contribute to an increase in extreme and average temperatures. The loss of internal temperature control could result in a rash of diseases, including heat cramps, exhaustion of heat, hyperthermia, and heatstroke when exposed to extreme heat, as well as frostbite and hypothermia in the event extremely cold. Temperature extremes can also cause chronic diseases like respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes-related ailments.
People who work outdoors, those who are socially lonely, economically marginalized, and those suffering from chronic illness are more prone to the negative effects of temperature rise.
The effects of air quality
Climate change has altered patterns of weather, which has subsequently affected the amount and location of air pollutants in the outdoors like ground-level ozone (O3) as well as fine particles. The rising CO2 (CO2) levels also encourage the expansion of plants that emit airborne allergens.
More pollen and longer periods of pollen season can cause the frequency of asthma attacks and allergic sensitization which can reduce productivity at work and at school. Air quality issues, indoors or outside, could adversely affect the cardiovascular and respiratory systems of humans.
Extreme events can cause extreme effects
The effects of climate change cause an increased frequency and severity of extreme weather events. These events can cause health issues including death or injuries in the course of an incident, like drowning in floods. Additionally, health impacts can occur in the aftermath of an event that is extreme, since people who are involved in activities like disaster preparation or clean up after an event put their health in danger.
The intensity and the extent of health-related effects that are associated with extreme events are dependent on the physical consequences of the events themselves.
Vector-borne diseases –
The transmission of vector-borne diseases is through vectors that include ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas. They can transmit infectious pathogens like bacteria, viruses protozoa, and others, which are transmitted to a host (carrier) from one to the other. The frequency, duration, and frequency of vector-borne illnesses are affected greatly by the climate.
Climate change will be a factor in both short- as well as long-term consequences on the transmission of vector-borne diseases and the patterns of infection, affecting the risk of developing seasonal illness as well as the frequency over decades.
Water-related illnesses –
Climate change is predicted to affect marine and fresh sources of water in ways that increase the risk of exposure to water-related pollutants that can create sickness. Waterborne illnesses are caused by pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa.
The causes of water-related illness are also caused by the toxic substances produced by harmful algae as well as through the infiltration of chemical substances into waterways through humans’ activities. The exposure is caused by ingestion directly in contact with drinking water that is contaminated, or recreational water as well as through the consumption of contaminated fish or marine food.
Mental health effects –
The mental health effects of climate change vary from minor stress and discontent symptoms to more serious mental disorders like anxiety post-traumatic stress, depression as well as suicidal notions. The elderly, children and women (especially pregnant women and post-partum women) and those with an existing mental illness, those who are economically marginalized and homeless are the most vulnerable to the negative effects on mental health.
Food quality and safety –
Climate change is likely to impact global, regional, and even local food safety by affecting food availability and reducing the availability of food, and making the process more difficult. The higher concentrations of CO2 could reduce the amount of protein and other essential minerals in a variety of frequently consumed crops like rice, wheat, and potatoes, with potential negative consequences on human nutrition. Food that is not nutritionally balanced is more likely to impact negatively the most vulnerable segments of the population.
The bottom line
Over the past fifty years, our activity has released enough carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases to store more heat in the lower atmosphere and influence the climate of our planet. According to WHO (World Health Organization):
The effects of climate change are on the social and environmental factors of health, such as clean air as well as safe drinking water. enough food, and a safe and secure shelter.
Between 2030 to 2050, climate change is predicted to cause around 250000 more deaths each year due to malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria, along with heat stress.
Therefore, given the grave consequences of climate change for our health, everyone must work together to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases via more efficient transportation, food and energy options for us to be healthier, particularly by reducing pollution of the air.
Climate change has now become an issue for all of us because it has a myriad of adverse effects, including on human health. Climate change must be addressed by the individual nations as well as the citizens living in those countries.