Publications and Research
The effects of climate change are evident worldwide as average global land and air temperatures have been rising, glaciers and ice sheets are shrinking with the concomitant rise in sea levels, extreme weather events have become more frequent, and oceans are warming and acidifying. Humanity is facing a big environmental challenge which not only impacts our habitat but will also have ramifications on our health. The present review describes a detailed examination of the scientific evidence proving the relationship between climate change and various fatal human diseases in different geographical regions. Our findings indicate that variations in the patterns of climatic factors, such as temperature, rainfall, and humidity, can increase the incidence of respiratory infections like tuberculosis and significantly change the incidence of waterborne diseases, such as cholera. It has also been noted that increase in the spread and longevity of mosquitos, which serve as carriers for various pathogens, can lead to high transmission rates of several vector-borne diseases. Climate change could also alter the dispersion of primary and secondary air pollutants, like nitrogen dioxide and ozone. High concentrations of these atmospheric gases closely link to the increasing rates of congestive heart failure and myocardial infarction. Furthermore, the frequency of occurrence of allergies and asthma is also likely to increase globally with climate change. Based on our studies, we recommend that characterizing emerging disease risks is crucial to evaluate our vulnerability and determine areas where public health efforts will be required with a greater focus in the coming years.
This article was first published in Ad Astra Newsletter, Issue #1, 2023, available at http://adastraletter.com/2023/1/effects_of_climate_change