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Health Impacts of Global Warming

written by: •edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 3/31/2009

It is indeed a grim fact that if prompt and effective measures are not taken to arrest global warming, then the repercussions on human health will be far-reaching.

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    It is a fact that medical scientists the world over are increasingly concerned with the deadly effects global warming can cause to human health. Intensive research studies by various institutions and organizations have made us realize the adverse effect global warming has or is likely to have. Continuous gradual rise in temperature has made the weather abnormal affecting us badly in terms of health.

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    Likely infectious diseases

    It is now widely acknowledged that global warming is creating conditions conducive for the spread of infectious diseases subjecting human health to grave risks. The most likely vector borne diseases the global warming can cause are Malaria, Dengue Fever and Encephalitis and if timely steps are not taken to arrest global warming many other diseases associated with mosquitoes and rodents will spread.

    Dengue fever is a disease caused by mosquito and the grim fact is there is no preventive vaccine against Dengue. Like dengue fever, malaria is also an illness caused by mosquito and scientists claim that as the temperature considerably becomes warmer in going from an area of low region to the areas at higher elevations, malaria-carrying mosquitoes will rapidly spread alongside. Rise in sea surface temperatures and sea level can result in higher incidence of water-borne diseases such as cholera and children are more susceptible to cholera than adults.

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    Other health problems

    Scientists affirm that rise in air temperatures tend to intensify the concentration of ozone layer in the earth atmosphere and if we believe experts, this is not a good sign. It is common knowledge that the natural layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere prevents penetration of harmful ultraviolet radiation reaching the lower levels. If ozone at ground level is damaged, then it can impair the lung tissue and causes respiratory problems like chronic asthma and bronchitis. Even marginal damage to ozone can cause chest pain, severe infections in lungs, nausea and other respiratory diseases.

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    Adverse after-effects

    Global warming will mean more frequent heat waves with deadly effects and the earth temperature will keep steadily rising. Global warming will seriously affect agriculture sector which not only feeds us but also acts as one of the most important contributing factors in solving environment related issues. If agriculture gets affected then problem of malnutrition and starvation may arise. Acute droughts will become more frequent and severe if global warming is not arrested and as a consequence, availability of safe drinking water will become scarce. As the frequency and severity of natural calamities increase, they will endanger human health beyond all medical treatment.

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    It is believed that the impacts of global warming on human health could be considerably negated by having strong public health awareness program that could successfully combat all the adverse effect global warming is likely to cause to human health. Large-scale air-conditioning of all residential homes, commercial complexes and other public buildings may become necessary despite additional expense burden.






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