Health Effects Of Global Warming

Why be concerned about the health effects of global warming?

As the Earth continues to warm, one of the major problems it brings is the negative impact on the health of our human population.

There are actually numerous health effects of global warming and many of them can be life threatening. Global warming is associated with increased events like heat waves, wild fires, El Nino floods in normally dry regions and hurricanes, which bring with the a series of negative health effects.

The only way to stop these problems is to reign in global warming. However, until that happens, humans will have to cope with the health effects brought about by global warming.

Scientists believe that global warming is bringing about more and longer lasting heat waves. It is not hard to imagine. Such heat spells brings about heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke. These illnesses can result in death or even permanent disability if victims are not treated in time.

With more people living in cities formed of asphalt, concrete and tall buildings, more people are subjected to what is known as heat islands, which intensify the impact of heat waves. This means that more and more people will become susceptible to heat problems and the dangers that come with heat waves. In fact, some of the most recent heat waves have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Other health effects of global warming related to heat waves are breathing problems. Heat waves are associated with higher-pressure upper atmospheric air descending and stagnanting over a region. This means that when smog is present in areas experiencing heat waves, the pollutant particles often remain in the air for long periods, increasing the incidents of asthma attacks and other lung problems.

The additional heat that comes with global warming is also a cause for the increased in wild fires events in the United States. These fires reduce the air quality by releasing soot, smoke and noxious gases into the air. These air pollutants can be transported thousands of miles from the fire site by upper level winds, reducing the air quality of cities not directly affected by the fire. Over time, these particles can lead to eye, heart and lung diseases.

Other health effects of global warming include diseases carried by pests such as mosquitoes. Global warming is associated with intensified impact of El Nino events, which bring floods to normally dry regions. The floods in turn bring with them water-borne diseases such as malaria. Studies also show that warmer winters brought about by the warmer global climate has also result in more of the mosquito population surviving and the likelihood of diseases being carried further and wider.

There are some scientists who believe that global warming is associated with the recent increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes. Not only do hurricanes kill lives and destroy homes. In addition, hurricanes also fill flood waters with waste and other debris. These items can eventually pollute the region’s drinking water causing various gastrointestinal diseases. Even cleanup workers can be affected by this threat.

Other health consequences of global warming associated with hurricanes are the anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorders associated with the disaster events. For example, there were hundreds of people affected with PTSD in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Read about the other consequences of global warming

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