Global warming can be defined as the increase in the temperature of the Earth’s surface. Global warming is a great health hazard to mankind. Scientists believe that if no measures are taken to curb global warming, human health will go to be adversely affected.
Implications of global warming in human health
When temperatures rise, they often make smoke pollution to worsen which makes breathing hard. This makes people be under the risks of irritated eyes, lungs and nose. People suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma are greatly affected during these periods. High temperatures results in mosquitoes capable of transmitting infectious diseases such as Dengue Fever to be active for longer periods and in vast areas thus putting human health at risk. When there is increase in humidity and heat, tropical and sub tropical insects are able to move to new areas thus making infectious diseases to thrive in new areas (Epstein, 2000). Severe heat waves are more hazardous to children and the elderly people in the society as they may die because of this. Heat waves lead to death of many people as a result of illness aggravated by heat such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion and cardiovascular disease. Many people are admitted to hospital when heat waves are present in a region.
Continuous rise in temperatures and decrease of precipitation quality of water will be reduced. Decrease of water amount will lead to concentration of contaminants such as industrial chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides, salt and sediments. This will pose a great health hazard to people taking this water. High temperatures will lead to drought which leads to water supplies becoming susceptible to harmful microorganisms and algae bloom. Global warming increases the frequency of heavy rainstorms leading to flood. Flood cause contamination of water, death, spillage of harmful materials, increase population of disease carrying insects and rodents putting people’s health at risk. Heavy rains lead to bursting of untreated sewage pipes. Untreated sewage makes people suffer from illness such as giardiasi and noro virus. A high temperature leads to diseases such as Hantavirus and Lyme. These diseases spread fast with changing weather conditions (Cotts, 2008).
People should be encouraged to walk instead of using vehicles. They can use bicycles or public means transport as this will reduce carbon dioxide emission. One should use solar energy, wind and geothermal as this is environmental friendly. In order to reduce emissions from vehicles, governments should reduce vehicle miles travelled (Böhringer, 2002). Vehicle tires should be well inflated as this reduces carbon dioxide emission. During extreme hot days, people should stay indoors and take a lot of fluids. Industries should use technologies which do not emit a lot of carbon dioxide such as electric forklifts.
People should use products which are energy efficient such as compact fluorescent light. One should switch off fans, lights, computers and air conditioners when not in use. Proper sanitation observation will help to curb the breeding sites of malaria thus reduce spread of malaria. No stagnant water or bush should be near the homestead. People travelling should ensure they spend their nights in hotels and not outside. People should purchase locally manufactured products as this reduces energy required to transport goods from one place to another. People should avoid goods which are packaged too much.
Appliances which use energy should be insulated for them to stay at a different temperature from the surrounding. People should plant trees in their compounds as trees are great users of carbon dioxide. Governments should ensure their countries forests are well maintained. Vegetable foods should be opted to animal foods as animals contribute to increase in the carbon dioxide emission.
Man has got all what it takes to curb global warming problem and thus foster his health. Man’s effort and lack of greed will make him win the war of global warming. Every individual has a role to play to curb global warming.
Böhringer, C. (2002). Controlling global warming. London: Edward Elgar.
Cotts, N. (2008). Global Warming & Health(Health and the Environment). Virginia: AlphaHouse Publishing.
Epstein, P. (2000). Is Global Warming Harmful to Health? Global Warming , 53-56.