Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Critically Analyze The Measures And Challenges That Need To Be Addressed To Mitigate The Effects Of Climate Change On Public Health

Critically Analyze The Measures And Challenges That Need To Be Addressed To Mitigate The Effects Of Climate Change On Public Health


According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are about 150,000 deaths each can be attributed to the effects of climate. A growing number of studies present different evidence which show the impacts of observed climate change on vector-borne and other infectious disease.

There is some evidence for changes in frequency of weather extremes over recent decades (McCarthy et al., 2001). Many health outcomes are sensitive and dependent on the isolated extreme events such as heavy rainfall and high temperatures. According to the analyses of 2003 heat wave in the European region concluded that it was a truly extreme event and the summer of 2003 was probably the hottest in Europe since 1500 (Luterbacher, et al., 2004). According to the climatologist, this is very likely that human impact on the global climate has at least doubled the risk of a heat wave which has been experienced in 2003 (Stott, Stone and Allen, 2004). Different researches has showed that possible causal role of climate change, particularly the warming of the surface temperature in the increasing intensity of tropical cyclones (Emanuel, 2005) even though a single event such as Hurricane Katrina cannot be definitely attributed to the issue of climate change. Different observations and data of the past showed that short-term variations and changes in climate or weather show that even small temperature increases and precipitation changes can result in measurable impacts on malaria, diarrhea episodes, injuries related to floods and malnutrition. Knowledge of these relationships allows approximate estimates of the health effects of past and future climate change to be made (Haines, et al., 2006).

It has been known for a long time that climate has a wide ranging influence on health of the public. Increasing recognition of the process of climate change has led to a growing intensity by health researches in evaluating the possibility of mechanisms by which changes in climate can affect health. All of those health effects can be modulated by different factors which include socio-economic development and by the level to which effective adaptation measures are being implemented. Even though most studies have assess the possible influence of climate change in isolation of other important environmental changes, in reality, climate change will be experienced against a background of other global changes which include population growth, urbanization, land use changes and depletion of fresh water resources that themselves have implications for health and which could, in some instances connect with climate change in order to magnify the influences (Haines, et al., 2006).

A large body of different researches and literatures connected to social response to climate change has focused on the need for reform at the public policy and institutional levels which follow the commitments by the government to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

A large body of research related to social response to climate change has focused on the need for reform at the public policy and institutional levels following commitments by governments to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to develop measures to adapt to climate change under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Klein et al., 2007). At the other extreme, investigations into individual responses to climate change have explored knowledge and understanding, levels of concern, and perceptions of risk and responsibility for taking action (Leiserowitz, 2007). Of course, all levels of response are at least indirectly connected (Smit and Wandel, 2006), and attempts to understand the capacity for change in different contexts is crucial for responding to complex problems such as climate change. As observed by Tompkins and Adger (2005), “the capacity of an individual, group or institution (at any scale) to learn and modify its response to climate change is important in generating sustainable outcomes” (p. 563). The processes involved in enacting change across scales are less studied (Moser et al., 2008).




Emanuel, K. (2005). ‘Increasing destructiveness of tropical cyclones over the past 30 years’. Nature. 436, 686 – 688.


Haines, A., Kovats, R. S., Campbell-Lendrum, D. and Corvalan, C. (2005). ‘Climate change and human health: impacts, vulnerability and public health’. Public Health. 120(7), 585 – 596.


Luterbacher, J., Dietrich, D., Xoplaki, E., Grosjean, M. and Wanner, H. (2004). ‘European seasonal and annual temperature variability, trends and extremes since 1500’. Science 303. 1503.


McCarthy, O., Canziani, O., Leary, N., Dokken, D. and White, K. (eds.). Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.


Stott, P.A., Stone, D.A. and Allen, M.R. (2004). ‘Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003’. Nature. 432. 610 – 614.

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