Effect Of Global Warming On Human Health – Wildfire season is off to a strong start. Hot summers exacerbate drought and dry out vegetation, which unfortunately is the perfect environment for wildfires to break out. But this is a result of global warming; This leads to flooding, storm surges and heat-related deaths. The climate crisis has indeed caused a widespread public health crisis. And as an ear, nose and throat doctor, I often see the effects.
I distinctly remember a patient who was late for her appointment during the July heat wave. When I walked in she said, “I’m sorry I’m late, I’ve been walking around the train station with my grandson all night.” With no air conditioning at home, the girl sweats through her clothes in the heat of the night and is at risk of dehydration.
Effect Of Global Warming On Human Health
July 2019 was the hottest July on record; September 2019 was the hottest on record; January 2020 was the hottest on record; May 2020 was the hottest on record. It is no coincidence. This is a model. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, has increased by 9 percent since 2005 and by 31 percent since 1950. A special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted that the United Nations has already warmed by about one. Industrial level to degrees Celsius. He emphasizes urgent action to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and a rise of two degrees will lead to unprecedented extreme heat, water shortages and food shortages worldwide.
Why We Need To Act Now
Heat affects all parts of our body. It can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, anxiety, impaired cognitive function and premature death from heart and lung disease. Across the country, the health concerns of the climate crisis are increasingly being recognized, pushing thousands of medical providers—doctors, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, medical students—to become advocates for change.
In my own practice, I explain to patients how the climate crisis affects their health. For example, in addition to contributing to global warming, rising carbon dioxide levels increase the amount of pollen produced by plants due to higher rates of photosynthesis. This increase in pollen levels can worsen allergy symptoms. Another example is fine particulate matter (known as PM).
) is associated with air pollution, linked to the burning of more fossil fuels, which contributes to increasing temperatures. When we inhale these particles, they travel through the airways and settle in small air sacs called alveoli in the lungs, causing inflammation and potentially worsening asthma symptoms. The explanations are simple, but the health risks are wide and complex. Ground-level ozone pollution is worse in warmer climates, harming people with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
And that damage falls disproportionately on the poor. The wealthiest people living in North America have a per capita carbon footprint that is 25 percent higher than low-income residents, with some wealthy suburbs producing 15 times more emissions than nearby neighborhoods. These carbon emissions contribute to global warming and the subsequent health effects are felt far beyond the environment that produces them. Older adults, children, low-income communities, and communities of color are, on average, less resilient to the health impacts of climate change.
Climate Change And Health
Therefore, the climate crisis is leading to a disproportionate public health crisis and, even worse, it is a threat multiplier. At a time when many Americans are struggling financially, continued heat waves and resulting high energy bills threaten access to water and energy security. The economic benefits of a low carbon economy are clear. Estimates suggest that without climate investments, the United States would face economic damage from climate change equivalent to 1-3% of annual GDP by 2100.
Most Americans think global warming is happening. The climate crisis is unfairly labeled as political, when in fact people realize that something needs to be done about it. Even for those not affected, there is growing global recognition that guarantees of protected community life and access to expert medical care will eventually fail if global warming continues unchecked. Unfortunately, six months or even a year after the climate crisis, there will be no vaccine. The only cure is mass climate action in the present.
We need climate action from our elected leaders and enforce it ourselves. It can be as simple as educating family and friends when making sustainable shopping and travel choices. These include eating less meat, switching off electronics and speaking out against the fossil fuel industry. As the demand for absentee ballots increases for this November’s election, it is important to apply for mail-in ballots now to ensure our voices are heard. The United States is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases and we must vote green. Legislative action and policy change work, as evidenced by the Clean Air Act and subsequent amendments, expected to save 230,000 lives by 2020.
The climate crisis is a public health issue, and we need to start healing the planet to heal each other. Fighting the climate crisis is one of the most patriotic things we can do right now; It protects our health and that of our neighbors across the country and around the world and allows us all to live on this planet, the only home we have.
Report Details How To Reduce Impact Of Climate Change On Human Health
Neelu Tummala is an ENT surgeon and clinical assistant professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, co-director of the George Washington University Climate Health Institute, and serves on the board of directors of the Virginia Clinics for Climate. action Follow Neelu Tummala on Twitter
Discover the science that is changing the world. Explore our digital archive dating back to 1845, including articles by more than 150 Nobel Prize winners. The threat that methane poses to global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change is well known. Methane emissions are increasing, and since methane is many times more powerful than carbon dioxide at heating the atmosphere, these emissions are increasing global temperatures. However, one effect of methane emissions that receives less attention is that it is an important factor in the formation of another greenhouse gas, ozone, in the lower atmosphere. Ozone is a major component of smog and is toxic to humans and plants.
Methane is the main precursor of ground-level ozone, a substance with harmful health effects, which can increase the world’s development and global warming.
“The air quality community hasn’t talked enough about methane and the climate change community hasn’t talked enough about methane air quality issues, the synergies between the strategies really work a lot and that’s why the Climate and Clean Air Coalition is important,” says CCAC Scientist Advisory committee member and Swiss Institute of Tropical and Public Health, said unit head Nino Kunzli. “Most strategies to reduce air pollution also reduce climate-related gases.”
Global Warming Effects: Effect Of Climate Change On Human Health
Ozone is a complex substance created when chemical pollutants react with sunlight. It is cyclical, meaning it increases in the afternoon and evening during the warm, sunniest parts of the year.
Breathing ozone can damage human lung tissue. The Global Burden of Disease estimates that ozone was responsible for 11% of chronic respiratory disease (COPD) deaths in 2019. ‘Studies estimate that ozone is responsible for one million premature deaths per year. The range of its potential health effects is diverse, including breathing problems, reduced lung function, asthma and chronic lung disease.
In addition to having such significant health effects, methane is relatively short-lived with an atmospheric lifetime of about 12 years, so the health and climate effects of its removal are felt very quickly. In fact, methane reduction will avoid about 0.3 degrees Celsius by 2040.
“Get some quick wins for the climate by reducing methane, and that’s very important because what we need to do now is buy time as we move towards more structural changes to create a net zero carbon economy because it is going to take time to get there,” Michael Brauer said.
Heat & Health
These quick wins can be dramatic for human health. Ozone reduction has the potential to prevent approximately 180,000 deaths, 540,000 asthma emergency room visits, and 11,000 hospitalizations each year.
Michael Brauer and other experts worry about ozone and its effects will only worsen without action. Ozone is formed more easily by the reaction of precursor gases in the presence of sunlight and warm, still air, and its production is expected to increase as global temperatures warm. Human activities cause methane emissions to increase drastically. At the same time, particulate matter levels appear to be stabilizing while ozone levels are rising, meaning that when it comes to the health effects of air pollution, ozone could be a very big concern, bigger in the coming years.
Ozone death toll is not enough