Global warming has various effects on humans. It is not only a threat to our future health, Global warming has already contributed to more than 150,000 deaths and five million illnesses every year. A team of health and climate scientists at the World Health Organization and the University of Wisconsin at Madison say those numbers could double in 2030.
The effects on infectious diseases is detected worldwide, but the degree and types of effects are different, depending on the location of the respective countries and socio-economical situations. Ironically, the research data published in the Journal Nature shows that it will be particularly hard for poor countries.
Few are aware of the effects of Global warming, but it is just the beginning. Here are a few of the Global Warming catastrophic effects on people’s health.
1. The Spread of Diseases
Warmer northern countries invite disease carrying insects to migrate up north, and with them come the diseases they carry. Malaria, for example, has not been eradicated due to global warming, their scope widens; their virus spreads longer, and some bacteria can mutate to even deadlier strains.
2. More Hurricanes in Warmer Waters
Meteorologists project that warmer waters cause stronger and more frequent hurricanes with each passing year.
3. Ever Increasing Heat waves and Intense Droughts
Global warming may cause other parts of the earth to experience heavier precipitation. Other areas sill experience more intense droughts and heat waves, such as in India and Europe. In Africa, water has become exceedingly rare, and can escalate the situation that could lead to conflict.
4. Economic Woes
The droughts, strong hurricanes and other weather extremes can cause destruction of crops, property, and exacerbation of diseases. These factors can cost billions of dollars in aid, relief, and cost of damages.
5. Dangers of Polar Ice Melting
When the polar ice melts, the sea level will rise up to 230 feet. The global ecosystem is disrupted of the ice caps melt. The seas and the ocean water will become less salty, disrupting the ocean currents that regulate the universal temperature. The fauna life will be affected, and some species will not survive. The sun rays will be fully absorbed from the earth because the polar caps cannot reflect the sun that’s why the earth warms up even more.
Global warming brings about one of the most dangerous hazards to human life – floods. As the climate warms, the seas create a thermal expansion, which makes the sea-surface levels increase.
7. More Wildfire
Global warming can cause many areas to dry out, making them susceptible to continuing wildfires. In the long summer 2007 in Europe, there were more than 3,000 fires that brought incalculable destruction to Southeaster Europe. These parched land areas are normal effects of the greenhouse effect.
8. Stronger, More Destructive Storms
The key to hurricane formation is the warm ocean waters. Global warming can cause the oceans to become warmer, and generate stronger storms. During the last 30 years, when the ocean temperatures started to warm, the destruction caused by storms increased by 50%.
9. Suspended and Accumulated Smog
The ground-level ozone, industrial pollution, heat waves, suspended hot air, and vehicular fumes create smog linked to chronic cardiovascular and respiratory, as well as skin allergic disorders. Smog also aggravates symptoms of preexisting disorders and can weaken the immune system.
10. Birth of More Deserts
Desertification was once a natural phenomenon. However, when global climate change became prevalent, it created more deserts. As the planet warms, the ground-level temperature rises causing the vegetations to die. Semi-arid land gave way to barrenness due to lack of precipitation.
Tsunamis are generated by the amplification of the planet’s temperature, such as ice sheets melting, and nudging of continental plates. Huge glaciers serve as weights, bringing enormous pressure on the earth’s surface. When the glaciers melt, the weight diminishes, relieving the tectonic plates of the pressure causing massive earthquakes and volcanic activities, which creates more powerful tsunamis.
12. Extreme Cold Weather
In 2010, news featured heavy snow berating the European and North American Continents that crippled the transport system, halting supplies of food, water, and medical supplies. More than 150 lost their lives in the 2009 to 2010 in the European.
13. More Volcanic Activity
Melting ice sheets can lead to more frequent and more perilous volcanic activities. The tectonic plates bounce back as the pressure relieved from the melting ice sheets. For example, the eruption of Gjalp volcano’s magma reached the point between two volcanoes is an unexpected event.
14. Frequent and Dangerous Thunderstorms
Global warming generates increased humid air that triggers thunderstorms causing wildfires across the world. According to studies, the occurrence of thunderstorms would be more powerful, more frequent, and it can increase by 100 percent by the end of the centuries.
15. Mass Migration and Conflict
Scientists predict that in the coming centuries, nations and even ethnic groups could plunge into wars and conflict due to dwindling resources. These events will lead to massive migration because many heavily populated places would be inhabitable due to heat, and flooding.
16. Deadly Disease Outbreaks
When the warm climate arrives, so does the spread of deadly diseases that affect millions of people across the world. Premature arrival of warmer months can trigger early onset of lethal diseases such as dengue and malaria. Longer hot days can lengthen the exposure to infections and spread to broader areas. Unprepared communities can overwhelm the public health services and can result to diminished medical supply. Warmer climate can also trigger diseases, such as avian flu, tuberculosis, cholera, ebola, and skin diseases.
17. Disrupted Biodiversity and Animal Extinction
Melting ice caps can directly affect the polar bears. As the planet heats up, animals that are adapted to cold environments can disrupt the ecosystem and force other animals out of their natural habitat. Studies indicate that oceanic warming will increase the mortality rates of sea lions, seals, and seabirds because of the dwindling food source due to the prevalence of acid rain.
18. The End of Ocean Life
The oceans absorb carbon dioxide emissions from factories and burning fossil fuel by 30 percent. Global warming can cause phytoplankton to diminish and when it does, many animals that are dependent on such a food source will die. Similarly, the food chain can be disrupted that can result to a domino effect, affecting all kinds of animals. The coral reefs slowly die due to bleaching as a result of increased heat.
19. Animals Attack Humans
The dwindling natural habitats of the animal drives force them to mingle with the human population. Drought in many parts around the world, such as in Amboseli National Park in Kenya. People are trapped inside their homes as lions venture out to search for prey. Similarly, tiger attacks in India are widespread too. Sharks are also seen swimming close to the California and Florida beaches looking for food.
20. Decrease in Water and Food Supply
As droughts, reduced rains, diminished soil fertility, and food and water supplies become scarce; the prices soar, and the result can be devastating to human populations. Famines can cause many weaker nations to collapse or thrown into chaos and anarchy.
Global warming has catastrophic effects on all aspects of people’s health life and may trigger human migration that can shift and change in the epidemiology of the cause of infectious diseases. Mankind’s ability to adapt to the speed of change, recognize the epidemics early, effectively contain it, and provide appropriate treatment will ensure our survival.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas