Climate Change and Its Effect on Health in India

Social IssuesEnvironment

  • Author Nishant Kumar
  • Published June 4, 2022
  • Word count 896


As of now, the impression of climate change can be found in every corner of the planet. Erratic weather conditions, rising ocean levels, and melting ice sheets because of climate change are reshaping societies across the globe. In India, climate change is now influencing human health, wildlife, food production, clean water access, and the economy. However, on account of India, these weaknesses accompany a remarkable potential for change.

The effects of climate on human health won't be equitably conveyed all over the planet. Proof shows that environmental change presents developing dangers to public health security. It is finding a progressively primary position on the international agenda.

Climate change occurs over longer time scales. As of not long ago, changes in the global climate have happened naturally, across centuries or millennia, due to continental drift, different galactic cycles, variations in solar energy output, and volcanic activities. Over the last decades, it has become progressively evident that human activities change atmospheric composition, causing global climate change.

Humankind's activities alter the world's climate by expanding the atmospheric concentration of energy-trapping gases like ozone-depleting substances, subsequently intensifying the natural "greenhouse effect" that makes the Earth habitable. These GHGs include chiefly carbon dioxide, generally from fossil fuel combustion and forest burning, and other heat-trapping gases like methane (irrigated agriculture, animal husbandry, and oil extraction), nitrous oxide, and different human-made halocarbons.

Our health might appear to relate generally to a reasonable way of behaving, heredity, occupation, local environment, and medical care access, but sustained population health requires the life-supporting services of the biosphere. Populations of all animal species rely upon food and water provisions, independence, freedom from excess infectious disease, and the physical safety and comfort conferred by climatic stability. The world's climate system is essential to this life support. A changing climate will probably affect all these conditions and hence have a powerful impact on human health and well-being.

Climate change can directly influence human health, e.g., thermal stress, death/injury in overflows and hurricanes, and indirectly via shifts in disease vectors, e.g., mosquitoes, water-borne pathogens, air quality, and water and food availability and quality. Therefore, global climate change is a new challenge to the ongoing efforts to protect human health.

India ought to be concerned because climate change is a component of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. India is an enormous emerging nation, with the Great Himalayas, the world's third-biggest ice mass in the north, and a thickly populated shoreline in the south.

Almost 700 million of her one billion population living in rural areas directly rely upon climate-sensitive sectors like farming, forests, and fisheries and typical assets like water, biodiversity, mangroves, coastal zones, and grasslands for their means and livelihoods. Further, the adjustable limit of dryland farmers, forest dwellers, fisher people, and nomadic shepherds is meager. Climate change is probably going to affect all-natural ecosystems as well as socio-economic systems.

Climate change, as of now, already contributes to the global burden of disease, and this contribution is supposed to grow in the future. Around 600,000 deaths occurred overall because of climate-related catastrophic events during the 1990s, some 95% of which occurred in developing countries.

The impacts of climate on human health will not be equally distributed worldwide. Developing country populations, especially in small island states, arid and high mountain zones, and thickly populated coastal regions, are viewed as particularly vulnerable.

The effect to which human health is impacted relies upon the population's exposure to climate change and its natural outcomes, the sensitivity of the people to the exposure, and the ability of affected systems and populations to adapt. Adaptation can lessen sensitivity to climate change, while mitigation can diminish the vulnerability to climate change, including its rate and extent.

Adaptation and mitigation can complete one another and fundamentally reduce the risk of climate change.

Although adaptation to climate impacts has attracted considerable attention recently, the effectiveness of specific strategies concerning greater flexibility of public health systems stays investigated.

Adapting to climate change will be essential and occur at behavioral, physiological, social, institutional, and organizational scales. To take benefit of already persistent adaptations for creating more effectual public health responses to climate change impacts, especially for poor rural communities whose access to health care is extremely limited even in the current policy environment, developing a baseline understanding of the region-specific demographic, social, and ecological determinants of health will be requisite. In creating public health responses, characteristics that must be considered include the population's age structure, socioeconomic profile, baseline ubiquity of climate-sensitive diseases, public awareness of risk, the built environment, existing infrastructure, available public health services, and uncontrolled responses to climate impacts on health that households and communities might undertake by themselves.

Climate irregularity and human health indicate a great deal of assortment in the reported associations. It is essential to develop an extensive categorization of climate change and associated health consequences across the spectrum of environments and residents likely to be affected. A better knowledge of the influences of climate change on health in India will be best achieved through studies determined on climates and people in India.

Countries like India have an immense opportunity to guide the future approach regarding sustainable development and adaptation to climate change. Still, it will take the combined effort of policymakers and scientists worldwide to manage the intricate challenges pertinent to climate change and human health.

I am Nishant Kumar pursuing Masters in Public Policy. I have written an article on climate change and its inauspicious effects on health in India.


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