Global Warming and Health

By: Jack Lillig

Ghana's new health administrator Sherry Ayittey

Sherry Ayittey said at the 66th world health assembly side event,“There are a lot of losses due to ozone contributions,particularly the maize. Some 32 million tons of these crops will be lost due to ground-level ozone concentrations…. We need to work with our economic and financial ministers for them to understand that if we don't do something about the health of people, then any investment in the development sector will not yield results.”

Dr Veerabhadran Ramanathan a climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego

“Short-term climate pollutants can be addressed by bottom-up solutions,” Dr Ramanathan told the audience. “This is the beauty of the short-term pollutant issue… reductions do not require 160 nations to sign on a piece of paper. When it is short-term pollutants, the nations that take action, the benefits accrue to them.”

Dr Maria Neira Director of WHO’s Department of Public Health and Environment

Dr Neira noted that according to the latest international research and data, some 30% of all deaths globally from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are caused by indoor smoke emitted by biomass and coal stoves. Outdoor air pollution is responsible for 22% of the global burden of death and disease from ischaemic heart disease -- one of the major noncommunicable diseases that is being targeted by health authorities today. Nearly 50% of childhood (under five) pneumonia deaths are from indoor smoke. Indoor and outdoor air pollution also is a factor in cancers, asthma, cataracts and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
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Examples of Global Warming

The temperature rising is melting the ice caps and causing animals in those areas to move somewhere else. Climate change, if it occurs at the level projected by current global circulation models, may have important and far-reaching effects on infectious diseases, especially those transmitted by poikilothermic arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks. Now, the debate is over; nearly all scientists (and politicians) agree that climate change is real and is the result of human activity.

Examples of Global Warming

Climate change can affect health in many ways. Heat-related illnesses and deaths will increase as the earth warms up. Hurricanes, cyclones, floods, and wildfires are expected to increase, causing injury and death. Many insects thrive in warm weather, meaning potential for more insect-borne diseases, including West Nile virus, viral encephalitis, and Lyme disease. Tropical diseases such as malaria and yellow fever could also spread to temperate zones like the United States.

Examples of Global Warming

Climate change is already producing health problems in the United States. Ozone layer depletion has increased exposure to ultraviolet B radiation, which contributes to skin cancer and cataracts. Global warming has promoted the growth of ragweed—another reason for the increase in asthma, as well as hay fever and allergies.Large-scale and global environmental hazards to human health include climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, changes in ecosystems due to loss of biodiversity, changes in hydrological systems and the supplies of freshwater, land degradation, urbanization, and stresses on food-producing systems.

Links

"66th World Health Assembly Side Event." WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

"Climate Effects on Health." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Dec. 2014. Web. 06 Apr. 2015.

Colwell, R. "Global Climate Change and Infectious Diseases." Emerging Infectious Diseases 4.3 (1998): 451-52. Web.

"Global Environmental Change." WHO. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2015.

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