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CLIMATE CHANGE: THE URGENCY TO ADDRESS THE EFFECTS OF GLOBAL WARMING ON HUMAN HEALTH

A recent study has shown the effects of climate change on human health, stressing that tackling climate change with adequate instruments leads to many health and economic benefits.

This study describes the health risks associated with climate change. According to the authors, increases in infectious diseases, decreased food security, and more mental stress are just some of the lesser reported effects that we are seeing and will continue to face.

The study suggests that health care professionals may play a significant role in communicating the related potential health concerns and the co-benefits from measures as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Moreover, the study highlights that both migration and adaptation represent important instrument to take on changes associated with human emissions of greenhouse gases. In that way, the study suggests adaptation strategies such as increased public green spaces and more robust infrastructures.

In addition to that, the report has forecast that more than 2000 excessive heat-wave related deaths per year may occur in Chicago; adding that mega-heat waves may increase by 500-1000% in Europe over the next few decades. Experts also indicate that days with high temperatures will increase in major cities.

In this context, the authors stress that water contamination represents one of the most challenging issues related to climate change. Some sources including surface waters, streams, lakes and rivers can be expected to contain bacteria, viruses and other pathogens which can cause diarrhoea and death, especially in small children: due to extreme precipitation events and floods, also clean water sources can become contaminated.

In relation to that, improving water infrastructure and reducing greenhouse gas emissions would represent an adequate strategy to mitigate flood-related water contamination.

Furthermore, reinforcing the use of renewable energy will be a positive and effective signal in order to fight climate change related issues.

 

The gLAWcal Team

EPSEI project

Monday, 13 October 2014

(Source: The Guardian)