Climate change is affecting people’s health in many ways. It’s important for environmentally conscious individuals and organizations to understand these effects in order to implement change and positively contribute to health and well-being. As global temperatures continue to rise, let’s evaluate the health impact of the climate crisis.
What is the effect of climate change on health?
When reporting the impact of climate change on human health, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), says high global temperatures directly contribute to cardiovascular and respiratory disease, especially among older individuals.
They have also found that increased temperatures raise ozone levels within the atmosphere and increase the number of pollutants we’re exposed to on a daily basis. Poor air quality has a direct impact on respiratory and cardiovascular health.
In addition, pollen and allergen levels increase as temperatures rise. This triggers seasonal allergic reactions and asthma attacks in approximately 300 million people affected by the illness.
Natural disasters and changes in rainfall patterns
The number of extreme weather events causing natural disasters has more than tripled since the 1960s. These disasters contribute to over 60,000 deaths each year.
Over half of the world’s population lives within 60 km of the ocean. As sea levels rise, homes and essential services are at risk.
Fresh drinking water supplies are affected by the changes in rainfall patterns around the world. Compromised drinking water contributes to the deaths of 500,000 children each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Drought conditions are increasing at an alarming rate, which directly affects the food supply.
Measuring health effects
It’s not possible to give exact numbers to measure the health effects of climate change. However, the WHO expects that climate change will directly contribute to approximately 250,000 additional deaths between 2030 and 2050. They further break this down to say deaths will be a result of heat exposure, water-borne disease, malaria, and malnutrition.
What can you do about it?
While the statistics seem grim, there is something you can do to take action against climate change. Reducing your carbon footprint and moving towards sustainable, renewable energy sources helps everyone.
Large corporations, small businesses, and individuals alike can take steps to reduce their carbon footprints through the use of “green” renewable energy sources. Accelerating the conversion to renewable energy will help to reduce the effects of climate change.
To learn more about how you can convert to “green” renewable energy through the use of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), click here.