Climate Change and health of children

A recent study shared an interesting retrospective on the topic

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Climate Change and health of children
© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images News

The increase in temperature at medium and high latitudes could favor the spread of diseases of tropical origin such as malaria and other diseases carried by insects especially in conjunction with heat waves. Global warming has a negative impact on human health due to the increase in extreme weather events and indirectly due to the negative effect it has on food production; those who work in the open air are considered particularly vulnerable. Climatologists warn of the possible influence of global warming on the stability of populations, with a possible increase in mass emigration from countries in the South of the World to countries in the Western world due to the worsening of their quality of life.

In general, in addition to the melting of ice in glaciers and polar ice caps with consequent rise in sea levels and reduction of land mass, an increase in temperature means an increase in the energy present in the atmosphere and therefore more extreme weather events with greater violence; the chemical alteration of the atmosphere causes a chemical alteration of all ecosystems. However, it is still very difficult to predict how the current global warming will actually affect the planetary system. The global climate is a multifactorial non-linear system, so climatology can establish trends, but not detailed short-term events typical of meteorological analyses.

According to scholars, at a meteorological level, that is, at seasonal and lower time scales, a more energetic atmosphere would cause an acceleration of the water cycle and greater air exchanges along the meridians (strong undulations of the Rossby wave) with an increase in associated extreme phenomena (floods, cloudbursts, hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, cold waves, etc.), with strong repercussions on agricultural crops and in general on anthropized and non-anthropized areas.

Children and climate crisis
Children and climate crisis© Christopher Furlong / Staff Getty Images News

But what is the effect of the climate crisis on children's health?

The study Climate Change and Health of Children: Our Borrowed Future, published in the Journal of pediatric health care : official publication of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates & Practitioners, made an interesting retrospective on the issue.

The researchers explain: "Children are disproportionately vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to physiological, developmental, behavioral, and social factors. Furthermore, they are likely to experience the consequences throughout their lives. This paper examines the health impacts of climate change on children's health, highlights specific vulnerabilities, and offers recommendations for pediatric health professionals for mitigation, adaptation, policy, and personal interventions to address our changing climate. Health professionals can support families in mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce risk from climate change."