Health

5 NEGATIVE HEALTH IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change brings with it an increase in malnutrition, mental health conditions, infectious disease spread and even death.
Changes in the greenhouse gas concentrations and other drivers alter the global climate and bring about myriad human health consequences.
Environmental consequences of climate change, such as extreme heat waves, rising sea-levels, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and droughts, intense hurricanes, and degraded air quality, affect directly and indirectly the physical, social, and psychological health of humans.
For instance, changes in precipitation are creating changes in the availability and quantity of water, as well as resulting in extreme weather events such as intense hurricanes and flooding.
Rising greenhouse gas levels are triggering climate and environmental changes that will affect human health in many ways.

Direct and indirect consequences:

The first major health impact of climate change is the rise in rates of mortality and diseases caused by extreme weather events. These include floods, droughts, tsunamis, heat-waves and other disasters which kill thousands of people in both the developed and developing worlds. Over 280,000 people were killed by the Asian tsunami of 2004, for example, while the 2003 European heat-wave killed 15,000 people in France alone.

Increases in Ozone:

Smog in Los Angeles decreases visibility and can be harmful to human health. Source: California Air Resources Board (2014). Scientists project that warmer temperatures from climate change will increase the frequency of days with unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone, a harmful air pollutant, and a component in smog. People exposed to higher levels of ground-level ozone are at greater risk of dying prematurely or being admitted to the hospital for respiratory problems.

Malnutrition:

In the developing world, malnutrition is rising because crops are failing, and that’s happening because of extreme weather. Cycles of drought and flood in West Africa are making it harder and harder for subsistence farmers to grow enough food to feed their families. And when the rain does come, it washes the topsoil away, degrading the land, so it becomes even more difficult to cultivate crops in the future. As a result, people go hungry and children in particular suffer from malnourishment

Mental health:

The impact of climate change on mental health is a relatively new field of enquiry, but it should not be underestimated. People who have survived droughts, floods, tropical storms and similar extreme weather events often lose their homes and their families. As a result, they can experience post-traumatic stress disorder, severe depression and other mental health problem

Changes in Allergens and Asthma Triggers:

Climate change may affect allergies and respiratory health. Allergic illnesses, including hay fever, affect about one-third of the U.S. population, and more than 34 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma.

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