Linkages of climatic change with Human Health: Exploring the Effects | Original Article
Climate change endangers human health, affecting all sectors of society, both domestically and globally. The environmental consequences of climate change, both those already observed and those that are anticipated, such as sealevel rise, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and drought, heat waves, more intense hurricanes and storms, and degraded air quality, will affect human health both directly and indirectly. Addressing the effects of climate change on human health is especially challenging because both the surrounding environment and the decisions that people make influence health. For example, increases in the frequency and severity of regional heat waves—likely outcomes of climate change—have the potential to harm a lot of people. Certain adverse health effects can probably be avoided if decisions made prior to the heat waves result in such things as identification of vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly and ensured access to preventive measures such as air conditioning. This is a simplified illustration; in real-life situations a host of other factors also come into play in determining vulnerability including biological susceptibility, socioeconomic status, cultural competence, and the built environment. In a world of myriad “what if” scenarios surrounding climate change, it becomes very complicated to create wise health policies for the future because of the uncertainty of predicting environmental change and human decisions. The need for sound science on which to base such policies becomes more critical than ever. This paper highlights the effects of climatic change in humans.