The climate crisis is used to be assessed from the side of risks to nature and the economy. However, global warming is seriously affecting human health, taking millions of lives. Extreme temperatures negatively affect almost all human organs: the heart, kidneys, and lungs suffer especially from heat. While many people think that global warming is a myth, due to the increase in average temperatures, the health of millions of people is at risk for this reason.
Negative Impact of Climate Change
Deaths Caused by Heat
The consequences of climate change are called the most important threat to human life and health. Over the past 25 years, the pace of global warming in the world has accelerated, it is happening much faster than ever (Rossati 14). This is because the concentration of greenhouse gases is at the highest level in the last two million years and continues to grow. According to research, from 1998 to 2017, more than 160 thousand people died from heat in the world (Rossati 8). More than a third of all deaths caused by heat are associated with global warming. Many lives are saved by air conditioners, but in the long run, it is not worth hoping for this option. They seriously pollute the atmosphere with carbon dioxide, and the greenhouse effect warms up the planet even more.
Due to high temperatures, more and more people are suffering from respiratory diseases. In medical practice, there was such a diagnosis of asthma due to climate change. Doctors found that extreme heat and poor air quality contributed to the deterioration of patients’ health (Patz et al. 340). Asthma can be triggered by thunderstorms and smoke from forest fires. During forest fires caused by heat, a large amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, which accelerates global warming. Harmful microparticles in the air contribute to the development of respiratory diseases, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.
Extremely high temperatures have also caused the rapid spread of acute cardiovascular diseases. The higher the temperature, the more intensively the internal organs have to work. The heart suffers more than anything else: it beats more often to pump more blood. With an increase in body temperature by one degree, the number of heartbeats in a person increases by an average of 10 beats (Kjellstrom and McMichael 9). According to research, sudden transitions from heat to cold increase the risk of heart attacks. Almost 18 million people die from heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases every year, which is 31 percent of all deaths on the planet (Kjellstrom and McMichael 5). Many scientists and doctors are sure that under the influence of global warming, the indicators will only grow.
Moreover, during extreme heat, people with weak hearts have high blood pressure, peripheral vessels dilate, legs swell, and the likelihood of blood clots increases. The increase in mortality from cardiovascular diseases during heat waves is close to 10 percent (Kjellstrom and McMichael 8). In addition, because of the heat, overweight people suffer especially: high temperatures are an additional risk to their body and, in particular, the cardiovascular system. In the heat, the vessels of the brain are subjected to a special load, which leads to oxygen starvation.
Thus, assessing the climate situation in the world, countries need to improve the sustainability of health systems as soon as possible. It is necessary to ensure a rapid transition to renewable energy sources to save lives from air pollution and switch to ecological transport. Otherwise, humanity will not be able to avoid millions of deaths from health problems caused by a climate catastrophe.
Kjellstrom, Tord, and Anthony J. McMichael. “Climate Change Threats to Population Health and Well-being: The Imperative of Protective Solutions That Will Last.” Global Health Action, vol. 6, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1-9.
Patz, Jonathan A., et al. “When It Rains, It Pours: Future Climate Extremes and Health.” Annals of Global Health, vol. 80, no. 4, 2014, pp. 332-344.
Rossati, Antonella. “Global Warming and Its Health Impact.” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 8, no. 1, 2017, pp. 7-20.