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Health consequences of climate change

 

The human action is causing a progressive deterioration of the planet. Year after year, industrial activity intensifies , at the same time as the number of transports and energy consumption increase. All these factors have caused the alteration of the environment, which is known as climate change. It is a very serious problem because it puts both the environment and people’s health at serious risk.

One of the most serious consequences of climate change is the hole in the ozone layer , caused by the massive use of fossil fuels. This hole gives rise to a generalized increase in temperature, as well as to a great selection of factors: increase in natural disasters, desertification, droughts …

The dangers of climate change

Numerous studies carried out in recent years have shown that human activity is affecting the global climate in a very negative way, which is detrimental to public health . Global warming has fatal consequences such as climate variability, changes in the distribution of certain infectious disease outbreaks or the appearance of new diseases linked to variations in ecosystems , among others.

From a health point of view, the consequences of climate change are increasingly notable. In recent years, the number of deaths from heat waves has increased significantly. In addition, the number of natural disasters , such as floods or earthquakes , has increased considerably . In the last decade of the 20th century, natural disasters related to changes in weather conditions claimed 600,000 deaths, 95% of them in poor countries.

Thaw

This is one of the most direct consequences of climate change. During the 20th century, the sea level increased between 10 and 20 centimeters globally due in large part to the melting of glaciers. According to recent studies, the Arctic air layer loses an area comparable to that of India every year. Of course, what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic; This causes the rise of seas or oceans, floods, displacement of population groups …

Floods

Experts assure that climate change will have very negative consequences for both health and the environment. One of the main consequences of this phenomenon is the rise in sea level , which increases the risk of flooding in coastal municipalities. Floods, in addition to causing deaths and injuries, also increase the risk of waterborne infections.

Precipitation

In recent years, variability in rainfall has increased, putting freshwater supplies at serious risk. Currently, about 40% of the world’s population suffers from water scarcity. If we add to this the poor quality of the water, the risk of suffering from diarrheal diseases increases; they claim the lives of more than two million people each year.

The increase in the temperature of the planet and the variability of rainfall is reducing harvests in many countries of the world. In addition, there is an increasing vulnerability to respiratory diseases and infectious diseases such as malaria or diarrhea. Thus, malnutrition will claim more lives each year, especially in poor countries.

How does climate change affect health?

Global warming is causing a more extreme climate, which significantly affects food security in very different ways. In 2011, a study published in the journal of the US National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences, Environmental Health Perspective, noted that in the not too distant future global warming will increase the number of foodborne infections . And it is that changes in both temperature and rainfall increase the contamination of fruits and vegetables.

If the projections are met, malnutrition will cause more than 500,000 extra deaths in 2050 . In addition, by the middle of the 21st century, about 250 million refugees will have to leave their homes due to lack of food.

Beyond physical health, mental health is also affected as a consequence of climate change. Experts note that the number of people with mental disorders is increasing by leaps and bounds. Natural disasters or lack of food cause anxiety, depression and stress .

The World Health Organization points out that many of the effects expected both in the medium and long term as a result of climate change will vary according to gender. Natural disasters will claim the lives of more women than men. When natural disasters strike, they hit poor communities the hardest. Thus, taking into account that women represent about 70% of the population living below the poverty line, the incidence in the female gender will be higher. In addition, the expansion of mosquitoes will put pregnant women at serious risk since during the gestation period the defenses are diminished.

Tips to reduce climate change

Taking into account the very negative consequences that climate change has for both health and the environment, it is worth taking into account a series of tips to stop global warming as much as possible.

  • Energy: it is advisable to go for low consumption light bulbs since they save more than 45 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year. In addition, they also save electricity costs.
  • Home appliances: simply turning off the television or computer when you are not using them will prevent thousands of kilos of CO2 from reaching the atmosphere each year. It is also not advisable to leave the mobile charger plugged into the mobile even if the device is not connected because it continues to consume electricity.
  • Transport: another of the actions with which you can contribute to curbing climate change is the use of bicycles or public transport. You must bear in mind that you save 30 grams of CO2 for every 4.5 kilometers that you do not drive. The European Commission establishes that for every liter of fuel burned by a car engine, 2.5 kilos of CO2 are released.
  • Recycle: of course, recycling is essential to take care of the planet. With this simple gesture you can save more than 730 kilos of CO2.
  • Hot water: and finally, a good idea is to install a hot water flow regulator in the shower; In this way, you avoid the emission of more than 100 kilos of carbon dioxide per year.

The climate change is a real problem and that is generating a lot of concern in today ‘s world because of the consequences it generates for both health and the environment. Caring for the planet is everyone’s responsibility. Therefore, we recommend following the above tips to contribute your bit to the world.

 

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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