Consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health

consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health and its increase

The greenhouse effect is a natural feature of the Earth's atmosphere and is therefore part of the natural function of life. However, when this effect is greater than the natural effect, it ceases to exist as a good thing and becomes a negative effect, mainly caused by increased human activities. There are multiple consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health and its progressive growth that was causing all the effects of climate change.

In this article we are going to explain the main consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health and the danger of its continuous increase.

Natural greenhouse effect and negative greenhouse effect

increased gas

The greenhouse effect is a natural process that occurs in the Earth's atmosphere. The process begins when solar energy reaches the Earth's surface, travels through the atmosphere, and heats the soil and water. Subsequently, the heat emitted by the planet's surface rises, and The gases present in the atmosphere are responsible for retaining part of the energy in the form of heat, and the rest go through the atmosphere and back into space. In this way, life as we know it could exist on Earth because, among other things, an optimal temperature could be maintained.

However, over the years, the impact of human activity on the planet has influenced this process, making it negative. This natural process is detrimental to the Earth and therefore to all life on Earth due to polluting human activities, which have increased exponentially in recent centuries and especially in recent decades. It has done so much that it has reached the point where it has a negative greenhouse effect.

Therefore, daily human activities such as manufacturing, driving, the use of sprayers or intensive and industrialized livestock farming pollute the environment by filling it with greenhouse gases. These gases rise to the atmosphere and are retained, thus preventing the heat that rises from the surface from being correctly expelled by the atmosphere and being retained, which is exactly what happens in the greenhouse of plants, causing the earth's temperature to rise. go up at a fast rate.

Consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health

temperature rise

We have already seen that the greenhouse effect is really something positive and is what maintains the ideal conditions for life to develop on our planet. However, the increase in the greenhouse effect does have negative consequences on human health. Let's see what are the main consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health:

  • Increase in extreme temperatures: Climate change causes more frequent and intense heat waves. High temperatures can trigger heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and respiratory problems, especially affecting children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses.
  • Vector-borne diseases: Rising temperatures and the expansion of suitable habitats for vectors such as mosquitoes can lead to the spread of diseases transmitted by them, such as dengue, Zika and malaria. These diseases can affect populations that were not previously exposed to them.
  • Poor air quality: Climate change may exacerbate air pollution. Rising temperatures and the formation of stagnant weather conditions can increase the concentration of air pollutants, worsening conditions for people with respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD.
  • Allergies and asthma: Increased carbon dioxide levels can stimulate pollen and allergen production, exacerbating symptoms of seasonal allergies and asthma in some people.
  • Change in disease distribution: Rising temperatures can influence the distribution of infectious diseases, such as foodborne and waterborne illnesses. In addition, the availability of drinking water can be affected by more severe and prolonged droughts.
  • Impact on Mental Health: Extreme weather events and climate change-related natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods, can have long-lasting effects on people's mental health due to loss of homes, belongings, and uncertainty about the future.
  • Displacement of populations: Sea level rise and environmental degradation can force entire communities to move, which can increase the stress and vulnerability of these populations to disease and adaptation difficulties.

The relationship between health and temperature is not static, but rather is moderated by a complex series of economic, social, cultural, and health variables. The relationship between temperature and mortality is generally "V" or "U" shaped, with a minimum onset temperature varying from location to location, probably depending on the population's adaptation to the temperature range in which it lives. . The increase in morbidity and mortality associated with extreme temperatures is one of the direct effects of the increase in the greenhouse effect.

Possible solutions

consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health

Faced with this alarming situation, there are some solutions to reduce the greenhouse effect and the emission of polluting gases. Let's see what are some of the solutions at different scales:

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and methane.
  • Substitution of fossil fuels and their derivatives, natural gas and coal with renewable energies.
  • Use more public transport and other non-polluting means of transport, such as bicycles or other ecological vehicles.
  • To increase the ecological awareness of citizens, the most important thing is to instill this knowledge in children and teach them how to improve this problem.
  • Reduce meat consumption, and therefore the use of intensive and industrialized livestock, in favor of nomadic livestock and other more environmentally friendly livestock.
  • Governments must be involved in taking measures to reduce the problem and avoid the increase of the greenhouse effect and climate change. An example of such measures is the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Continue investigating possible improvements in environmental issues.
  • Not wasting energy, like electricity at home.
  • Consume organic products.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the consequences of the greenhouse effect on human health.


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