The effects of climate change on human health

A study has correlated the negative effects of the climate crisis on our health

by Lorenzo Ciotti
The effects of climate change on human health
© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images Sport

The influence of human being, who through the use of fossil fuels releases large quantities of CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, is inexorably changing the climate of our beloved planet. Increasing the action of the greenhouse effect and generating climate warming which increases the average global temperature of the Earth, with consequences such as desertification, rising and acidifying the oceans, and more frequent extreme atmospheric phenomena.

Direct cause of climate change and global warming. The predominant causes are to be found in human activity, due to the emissions of increasing quantities of greenhouse gases into the Earth's atmosphere and other factors always attributable to human activities.

But climate change and global warming also have direct effects on our health.

Climate crisis
Climate crisis© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images

The study: Adverse human health effects of climate change: an update, published on the Annali di igiene: medicina preventiva e di comunità€, attempted to do a retrospective on the topic.

Below are the most interesting parts of the study:

"The world is currently facing a process of climate change, which may adversely impact human health in many different ways. The safety of food, water and urban environments is endangered by the consequences of climate change. Sea level and temperature rise, along with more frequent and longer heat waves, represent only a few of the effects of climate change. The increased risk of extreme climate events (e.g., cyclones, droughts and floods) is another serious public health issue. These adverse effects are enhanced in areas and countries not having the capacity to effectively deal with climate change.

We primarily aimed at summarizing the impacts of climate change on public health. A further aim was to identify the most concerning consequences of this phenomenon and the vulnerability factors that amplify the negative effects of climate change.

Climate change appears to induce a broad spectrum of generally adverse effects on public health. It may increase the risk of infectious diseases, psychiatric disorders, cancer and other diseases. Currently, we are not effectively counteracting this phenomenon, since pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions have been increasing alongside temperatures.

A host of measures are required in order to prevent and fight climate change and related health effects. These include the adoption of a holistic approach and the collaboration of different kinds of expertise in order to design more effective strategies. Special attention should be paid to those who live in disadvantaged countries, and those who are more vulnerable to the adverse health consequences of climate change."