An analysis of the impacts of climate change on human health

glacier 2019

Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina (Rachel Jarboe, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Anna Paula Janeiro, a 5th year medical student from Brazil. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Since the industrial revolution, especially after the nineteenth century, significant changes have occurred for human life itself. Extreme poverty, from data collection in Our World In Data, dropped from 94% to an incredible 9.6% and caloric nutrition in major countries of the industrial revolution, such as France, increased from 1,846 kcal / person to 3,460 kcal /person. It was the main point for the definitive human flowering.

However, is not always a bed of roses. The environmental impact caused by the great socio-economic transformations has also brought countless negative repercussions to our environment. Still according to surveys of Our World In Data, it is estimated that the global temperature varied abnormally on a world average of 0.68 degrees Celsius, and that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere jumped from 315.97 ppm. in 1959 to 406.55 ppm. in 2017.

Increased emissions of polluting gases, depletion of the ozone layer and toxic gases eroding our oceans mean the price of progress. This progress is costing, in addition to terrestrial health, human health itself.

In this scenario, among the expected consequences in the human health area, there is evidence of the spread of infectious vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and lymphatic filariasis, for example. Several diseases responsible for exterminating a portion of the human population are extremely sensitive to temperature and precipitation, among them cholera, which can lead to death by intense dehydration, sometimes in a matter of hours. These events lead us to a negative perspective that there may be a paralysis or even reversal of the progress already made by the world public health community in the fight against any disease of endemic and epidemic potential.

The article ‘Quantifying excess deaths related to heatwaves under climate change scenarios: A multicountry time series modeling study’ published in the American magazine PLOS MEDICINE, concludes that a great part of the deaths will happen in tropical regions of the planet, mainly in low-HDI countries – especially among vulnerable populations – through heat waves caused by global warming.

From this, it is emphasized the need for effective climate policies to minimize the temperature rise by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, since lower emission levels are associated with fewer consequent heat wave deaths.

International agreements such as the Paris Agreement in 2015, demonstrate the human will, itself, to reverse the environmental damage caused by human actions over time. In September 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that it will prosecute  crimes against humanity that are practiced through destruction of the environment, illegal exploitation of natural resources or illegal expropriation of land.

Even if the largest land-based polluters have not signed the Rome Statute – North of the ICC – it is important to emphasize that this measure is a small step towards greater efforts to defend the environment and, consequently, the well-being and health of the world’s population.

About the author

Anna Paula Janeiro is 23 years old. She is academic of the 5th period of the medical course. She is currently the director of anatomy discipline, scientific director of the Academic League of Plastic Surgery at Unicesumar (LACPU) and local coordinator at IFMSA Brazil Unicesumar.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

70 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, this is why we need dignity more than ever

More than 750 million people around the world would migrate if they could

“Will TTIP solve the massive EU-US unemployment? Absolutely not!” A revealing Sting Exclusive with Tim Bennett from the Transatlantic Business Council

Volkswagen scandal update: “We want clarity fast, but it is equally important to have the complete picture”, Commission’s spokesperson underscores from Brussels

5 reasons to be more cheerful about the future of the oceans

Eurozone officials play with people’s deposits and minds

Eurozone again whipped by Greek winds

The untold story of who caused and who pays for the economic crisis

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

This is what the gender pay gap looks like in eight countries

In the United States, there aren’t enough hours in the week to make rent

New York high school students are getting free water bottles to cut plastic waste

Greece leaves EU aid program, gets last 15 billion euro

2019 EU Budget: Commission proposes a budget focused on continuity and delivery – for growth, solidarity, security

EU Emissions Trading System does not hurt firms’ profitability

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is changing how we grow, buy and choose what we eat

The Eurogroup+ is born to govern the EU Banking Union

This is how Copenhagen plans to go carbon-neutral by 2025

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

Top UN political official updates Security Council on Iran nuclear deal

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

The health of the human being in coexistence with a transformative biosphere

Thursday’s Daily Brief: STIs worldwide, food safety and food prices, updates on Iraq and East Africa

UN chief expresses solidarity with Indonesian authorities after flash floods kill dozens in Papua

Huawei answers allegations about its selling prices

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

These are the countries where most adults still don’t have a smartphone

Hiring is broken. Here’s how to fix it

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

How women are transforming the Arab world’s start-up scene

European Commission recommends to the European Council (Article 50) to find that decisive progress has been made in Brexit negotiations

Slovakia and its failure to abide by the European law

Water reuse: Commission proposes measures to make it easier and safer for agricultural irrigation

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Safe drinking water, sanitation, are ‘basic human rights’: new UN Water Development report

Kenya wants to run entirely on green energy by 2020

AI has huge potential – but it won’t solve all our problems

Syria: ‘Deplorable’ violence in Idlib against civilians, humanitarian workers must ‘stop immediately’: UN Coordinator

The Next Web 2014, the biggest European conference on Internet so far and the Absence of Brussels from Amsterdam

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

Scientists have created the world’s ‘first psychopath AI’

UN chief calls for Security Council to work with Myanmar to end ‘horrendous suffering’ of Rohingya refugees

The ECB must extend its money stimulus beyond 2018: Draghi reckoning

“We always honor our words, and in that respect we expect our partners to honor their words as well”, China’s State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi highlights live from Brussels

SDGs and the historical and economic impact on Brazilian health

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

China Unlimited Special Report: at the heart of Beijing

Reform of road use charges to spur cleaner transport and ensure fairness

Here are three ways blockchain can change refugees’ lives

‘Disaster resilient’ farming reduces agriculture risks, yields economic gains, says new UN agriculture agency report

Diana in Vietnam

Gaza blockade causes ‘near ten-fold increase’ in food dependency, says UN agency

EU migration deal welcomed by UN agencies

South Africa still hasn’t won LGBTQ+ equality. Here are 5 reasons why

Landmark EU Parliament – ECB agreement on bank supervision

The countries with the most satellites in space

Forced pregnancy in Italy violated ‘woman’s human right to health’, UN experts rule

UN will do ‘utmost to prevent and mitigate any risk of violence’ in DR Congo, pledges Mission chief

Raj Kumar’s new book offers a strategy for transforming the global aid industry. Here’s an excerpt

Senior UN adviser sees ‘rare’ victory for humanitarian diplomacy as aid convoy reaches desert camp in Syria

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s