The weather and climate have obvious impacts on human health, but the change in climate is what can have a serious impact. The seriousness and type of health issues vary from person to person. Things such as the climbing of temperatures, increases in the extremeness and frequency of weather events, and rising sea levels are all just some of the factors that affect people’s health in a variety of ways.
Rising temperatures and exposure to scorching heat can lead to several long-term conditions as well as immediate effects, such as dehydration or heat stroke. Temperature changes can also magnify pre-existing health conditions. These problems arise due to the human body’s inability to regulate its core temperature. Hotter climates also attract vector-borne disease carriers, such as mosquitoes, which can increase the population of people affected by lyme disease.
As for the impacts of colder weather, hypothermia and frostbite are among the most common problems. When the body is presented with a frigid environment, it has trouble maintaining heat, and tends to lose heat faster than it produces it. Hypothermia is something that happens when the body is exposed to cold conditions for too long. Frostbite occurs when there is a lack of circulation to a particular body part. Both frostbite and hypothermia can be very serious, even fatal.
According to GlobalChange.gov, “Climate change projections show that there will be continuing increases in the occurrence and severity of some extreme events by the end of the century…” Disasters like hurricanes and floods can cause obvious health impacts, but impacts to one’s health can even occur before or after an event. Also noted by GlobalChange.gov, “…individuals may be involved in activities that put their health at risk, such as disaster preparation and post-event cleanup.” There are several factors that might cause health issues long after a severe event as well. All health effects are different depending on the person or surrounding circumstances.
The rising of sea levels is another aspect of climate change that is impacting people’s health. Rising sea levels “compromises drinking water, human waste water treatment and storm water disposal…” says the Health Affairs Blog. No one wants to drink contaminated water, and no one wants dysfunctional water treatment. All of these can result in waterborne diseases, which can be serious health problems.
Not only do temperature changes, extreme events, and sea level changes affect the health of people, but many other aspects of climate change can have detrimental changes on one’s health. If you’re interested in learning more about climate change and its effects, there are so many places where you can learn and even help. Look into it!