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Climate Change And Health

The so-called ‘ climate change summit ‘ was recently held in Paris. With the compromise document, still warm-and worth the expression-there seems to be a planetary commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that the average temperature of the Earth’s surface increases by less than 2 ° C At the end of the century. For some the agreement has been an unprecedented success, for others it is a disappointing and insufficient agreement. What is clear is that they continue and will continue pouring rivers of ink on the subject that, probably, when they arrive at the sea also will raise its level.

Curiously, one of the main consequences of climate change, and yet the least news comes to us, is its impact on health. The projections made on various parameters derived from global warming place us in a disturbing scenario for those who inhabit the Earth. The planet has a fever and we did not decide to apply the right treatment.

What is climate change

Climate change is determined by a global warming of the surface of the planet in which the greenhouse gases, which accumulate heat from the radiations coming from the sun, are involved. One of these greenhouse gases is CO 2, released mainly when burning fossil fuels (gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas). Others such as methane and nitrous oxide are generated through the use of fossil fuels and fertilizers in agriculture. There is a clear association between the accumulation of these gases and the industrial activity, reason why its increase has been observed since the end of century XIX.

Climate change and health consequences

The effects of climate change with health implications can be divided into direct (storm, drought, flood and heat wave) and indirect (water quality, air pollution, changes in land use and changes in ecosystems). In addition, there are individual and social circumstances that can lead to greater impact. These include age, sex, basic health status, socioeconomic status, social and family capital, characteristics of the public health system of the country in which it is housed, and social conflicts occurring in That country.

Thus, climate change and individual and social factors of the affected population will produce an increase in the incidence of mental health problems, malnutrition, allergies, events and cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases, accidents and injuries, respiratory diseases and intoxications.

In this regard, WHO estimated in 2000 that climate change was already causing 150,000 deaths a year. As of 2030, it is estimated that the increase in mortality from these causes will increase by an additional 250,000 deaths annually, mainly due to cases of malnutrition, malaria, diarrheal processes and exposure of vulnerable groups to high temperatures.

Is climate change a solution?

One of the main objectives is to attenuate the increase of the surface temperature of the planet. It has been set as a target that the average temperature rise does not reach 2 ° C (even more ambitious limits of 1.5 ° C of maximum heating are set). This would have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially, for which a change in the energy model at the global level would be essential. At the moment, the warming already produced is estimated at 0.85 ° C, with consequences that we have been noticing for some time. To know whether the recent Paris agreement is fruitful or not just a matter of time.

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