You might want to sit down and take this seriously

By Klyde Manansala | Photo by Sam Sutharson/Unsplash

Recently, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that we only have until 2030 to stem a catastrophic climate change in which disastrous events like extreme heat, severe rainfalls, rise of sea levels, wildfires, floods, and food shortages are expected to skyrocket as the planet reaches the threshold of global warming. Yet, the rising global temperature does not only affect the world we live in—it also affects human health. We did a brief research on the possible health hazards that humans could endure as the the world rapidly changes.

Diabetes 

A study claims that the rising global temperature might contribute to the current worldwide diabetes epidemic. Lisanne Blauw, the author of the study, said that “a 1-degree Celsius rise in environmental temperature could account for more than 100,000 new diabetes cases per year in the USA alone.” The rising temperature reduces the brown fat tissue in human body whose main function is to burn calories in order to generate heat. With lesser brown fats, the study hypothesizes that this could potentially lead to diabetes or insulin resistance, a metabolic syndrome associated with higher risk of developing heart disease.

“With lesser brown fats, the study hypothesizes that this could potentially lead to diabetes or insulin resistance, a metabolic syndrome associated with higher risk of developing heart disease

Contaminated Water and Bacterial Infections

Heavy rainfalls have greatly contributed to the risk of water-related infections. As the temperature increases, more devastating storms are expected to come. According to Dr. Monta Sarfaty, director of the program on climate and health at George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, “when increased rainfall leads to flooding, there can be a mixing of storm water and sewage that leads to bacterial contamination in the water.” The water contamination can also cause food-borne diseases. “Heavy downpours and flooding can spread fecal bacteria and viruses into fields where food is growing,” according to a report from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health.

“When increased rainfall leads to flooding, there can be a mixing of storm water and sewage that leads to bacterial contamination in the water, says Dr. Sarfarty

Respiratory Problems 

Another study published last year says that pollutants present in the air called “particulate matter” can worsen asthma, affect lung function, and even increase the chances of having a stroke if constantly inhaled. Furthermore, the continuous increase in carbon dioxide will cause plants to produce pollens more than ever, which will likely affect people with pollen allergies. If it triggers allergic reactions, the pollens could possibly affect their sinus and respiratory tract.

Mosquito and Tick-Borne Infections

Experts also pointed out that humans will be more prone to vector-borne diseases as the world continues to get warmer. Global warming has made mosquitoes, ticks, and other organisms proliferate rapidly and spread to different areas with increasing temperature. This indicates that humans could be more susceptible to viral infections such as malaria, zika, yellow fever, or tick-borne encephalitis in the years to come.

“Global warming has made mosquitoes, ticks, and other organisms proliferate rapidly and spread to different areas with increasing temperature

Mental Health Issues 

The American Psychiatric Association distinguishes that climate change poses a threat to public mental health, saying that “extreme weather events and slower moving events such as droughts can have significant effects. This causes mild stress and distress, high-risk of alcohol use, and mental disorders such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.” Experiencing tragedies caused by these changes, such as intense heat, flooding, environmental damage, and especially loss of lives, can have a long-term effect on the mental health of affected people.