Climate change is a major issue for the Earth, and scientists suggest that it will also have significant impact on the health of humans.
Humans are responsible to a great extent for global warming that causes climate changes on the Earth. Increase in surface and sea temperatures and an increase in the sea levels are some of the key impacts of global warming on the planet.
With this increase of temperature, heat-related medical illnesses are expected to rise in the future. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that heat waves cause the deaths of about 700 Americans every year. However, by 2050, heat wave may kill 3,000 to 5,000 Americans each year.
Recent reports have highlighted that August 2014 was the hottest August since 1880, when temperature recording started. July 2014 was the fourth hottest July since 1880. These findings suggest that the future may get even worse.
Dr. Jonathan Patz, director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and the lead author of the study, reveals that almost all the regions lying on the eastern part of the Rocky Mountains will witness a spike in hot days. He suggests that the number of hotter days will increase by three-fold in some cities like New York and Milwaukee.
Dr. Patz suggests that currently New York witnesses a temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit only for 13 days in a year. However, this may increase to 39 days by 2050.
Respiratory disorders such as asthma may increase as a result of climate change. People suffering from various allergies may suffer even more as the increase in temperature may also increase allergens in the air.
Infectious diseases may also escalate. Malaria bearing mosquitoes are usually more active in warmer temperature, which may increase malaria cases. Heavy rainfall in parts of the world due to climate changes may aggravate waterborne diseases like childhood gastrointestinal illnesses, which is caused by bacteria found in dirty floodwater.
High temperature may affect the crop yield, which will affect food supply and result in hunger issues.
The study also suggests that climate-related disasters can also encourage promote post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.
"The health benefits could be up to tenfold more valuable than the cost in going to cleaner energy," says Patz. "You're doing it to reduce climate change, but at the same time you get major public health dividends."
The study has been published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.