HOW CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS HEALTH

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CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change, as the name suggests, is a change in the climate conditions on Earth. There is a frequent variation in the weather however climate change is known to occur only if these variations last from a few decades to centuries

What is climate change?

Climate change is the significant and lasting change of our weather over sustained periods of time. There is internationals consensus that human activates over the last 50 years have altered the Earth’s natural climate. Excess production of green house gasses and changes to our natural ecosystems (such deforestation) are contributing to global warming. The intergovernmental panel on climate change has concluded that:

  • Ecological changes due to global warming “are likely to effect the Health status of millions f people”
  • People with less ability to respond to the environmental and public health impacts of climate change will be most impacted
  • It is “virtually certain” that there will be warmer and more frequent hot days and nights.
  • It is “very likely” that the frequency of heat waves will increase over most land masses.

Climate change is caused due to various external and internal mechanisms let us learn about these in detail:

Volcanic Eruption

Volcanic eruptions that emanate more than 100,000 tons of SO2 in the stratosphere are known to bring about climatic changes on the Earth. These eruptions cool down the Earth’s atmosphere for a couple of years as they bar the transmission of solar radiation to Earth’s surface to some extent.

Solar Output

The rate at which the Earth receives energy from the Sun and the rate at which the energy is emitted back in the space determine the climate and equilibrium temperature on the Earth. Changes in the solar output thus impact the global climate.

Plate Tectonics

The motion of tectonic plates generates topography by reconfiguring the land and ocean over a period of millions of years. This impacts the climatic conditions globally.

Orbital Variations

Changes in the earth’s orbit lead to changes in seasonal distribution of sunlight referred on it. Orbital changes are the three types. These include changes in the Earth’s eccentricity, changes in the tilt angel of the Earth’s axis of rotation and precession of the Earth’s axis.

Human Activates

The increasing of CO2 due to fossil fuel combustion, vehicular pollution, deforestation, animal agriculture and land use are some of the human activates that are causing climate change.

EFFECT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Climate change is having negative repercussion on the Earth’s environment. Some of detailed as under:

  • Effects on Forest 

Forests are important to maintain the environment balance as they soak carbon dioxide. However, several spaces of trees are unable to withstand the changing climate and have become extinct. Mass extinction of trees and plants has led to decrease in the level of biodiversity which is bad for the environment.

  •  Effects on Polar Region

The North and south poles of our planet are critical for regulating its climate and these are particularly impacted due to the changing climatic conditions. If the changes continue like this it is anticipated that the life in polar region my go extinct in the times to come.

  • Effects on Agricultural Food

Agriculture production is also decreasing due to severest floods and soil erosion. The crops are destroyed by heavy rains and floods leading to food insecurity and low yield in the country.

  • Health Problems

Health problems are also another affect of climate changing. Heat stroke and heart problems are caused by increasing temperature. Every year, almost a large number of populations of Pakistan are suffering from increasing temperature.

  • Due to change of Climate Change

In the world between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

WORLD HEALTH ORIGINATION RULE OUT IN CLIMATE CHANGE AND HEALTH

WHO has been working on climate change and health for over 25 years and has developed a comprehensive approach aiming to support countries to assess and manage the health impacts posed by climate variability and change. 

WHO’s approach aims to strengthen national capacities and improve the resilience and adaptive capacity of health systems to deal with the adverse health effects of climate change.

The package of technical support being provided by WHO to Member States ranges from specific topics (e.g. development of plans and strategies or climate-informed health early warning systems) to more programmatic approaches to those countries implementing projects on climate change and health.

The key initiatives and projects by which WHO assists Member States and partners on climate change and health are: 

  1. Conducting climate change and health Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessments.
  2. Development and implementation of the health component of National Adaptation Plans.
  3. WHO has organized country projects on climate change and health.
  4. WHO has been working on strengthening the climate flexibility of health systems.
  5. WHO totally focused on climate change and health effects and has been trying to Strengthen the climate resilience and environmental sustainability of healthcare facilities.
  6. Streamline financial resources for health and climate change.
  7. Develop  tools, guidance and training packages on climate change and health.
  8. Integrated surveillance and climate-informed health early warning systems.
  9. WHO Special Initiative on climate change and health in Small Islands Developing States.

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