According to Gautret et al. (2017), global temperatures have risen substantially in recent decades. Rising global temperatures lead to more frequent and severe heatwaves, putting vulnerable populations at risk of heat-related illnesses and even death. Additionally, changes in weather patterns contribute to the spread of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, to new regions. Furthermore, the disruption of ecosystems and natural habitats due to climate change can result in increased human exposure to zoonotic diseases, like COVID-19, as biodiversity loss brings humans closer contact with wildlife. With the alarming cases of food inadequacy, increased cases of heat stress, and an increase in respiratory diseases and global catastrophic floods, the case of global warming has become an alarming threat to human health.
The adverse effects of global warming go beyond reduced food yields. Pests and diseases that live in warmer regions spread to previously unaffected areas as temperatures rise. Balasubramanian (2023) notes that in addition to increasing the occurrence of pests, global warming also extends the range of pests, which then cause severe damage to crops. The effects cause food shortages that threaten global food security. For regions that are struggling with food insecurity, global warming may exacerbate this condition. Malnutrition and associated diseases, such as stunted growth and developmental problems in children, can result under such circumstances. Besides, the effect of global warming on agriculture is varied, “touching upon not only the food quantity but also the food quality and safety (Gautret et al., 2017).” Changing climate can also affect crops’ nutritional contents, leading to deficiencies in essential nutrients and exposing one to ill health.
Heat stress is a severe health problem, especially in cities, and it worsens due to global warming. Heat-related illnesses rise when temperatures go up, and especially vulnerable are the elderly, children, and people with previous health conditions. Besides heat stress, global warming also correlates to increased respiratory disease. Gautret et al. (2017) argue that extreme heat events often result in higher temperatures and air pollution. These factors contribute towards an increased difficulty in breathing for individuals with lung problems, consequently leading to an increased prevalence rate of bronchitis, asthma, respiratory tract diseases, as well as constructive pulmonary disease. Moreover, prevalent respiratory illnesses significantly affect the healthcare systems, limiting medical resources and negatively affecting people’s well-being (Gautret et al., 2017). It is essential to point out that the growing strain on the healthcare system, with an increasing incidence of climate-associated health issues, has led to a comprehensive approach to mitigation strategies and adaptations.
Global warming impacts go beyond mere temperature changes to extreme forms of weather, especially floods. The melting of polar ice caps results from increased temperatures, causing sea levels to rise. According to Bella, 2016 This has resulted in a more frequent and damaging flood in the coastal areas. The climate of the Earth has always experienced changes. However, the rate of change is currently unparalleled. These extreme weather conditions are also contributed to by global warming and the high temperatures that lead to floods (Jiménez et al., 2015). Also, the ripple effects of flooding that cause diseases, destruction of infrastructures, and displacement further increase health risks linked to global warming. Floods pose immediate drowning and long-term health consequences such as water contamination and poor accessibility to health facilities.
While some individuals argue that natural climate variability significantly shapes Earth’s climate and downplay human influence as the primary driver of temperature changes, skeptics suggest that the effects of global warming may not be as immediately tangible as claimed by proponents of climate change mitigation (Jiménez et al., 2015). These skeptics contend that predicted catastrophic consequences, such as rising sea levels, might not materialize as rapidly or severely as anticipated. According to their perspective, historical climate data reveals natural fluctuations and cyclical patterns that can account for observed changes. Moreover, skeptics express doubts about the reliability of climate models and argue that uncertainties exist in projections of future climate scenarios.
In contrast, scientific consensus strongly supports the argument that human activities, especially burning fossil fuels, significantly contribute to global warming and its consequential effects, such as the rise in sea levels and increased risks of floods (Bella, 2016). Proponents of climate change mitigation stress the importance of proactive measures in curbing the impact of climate change, emphasizing the need to protect planet Earth and its inhabitants.
In conclusion, the threats posed by global warming, including food insecurity, heat stress, respiratory diseases, and increased flood risks, are substantial and demand immediate attention. These include inadequate food supply, heightened heat stress, respiratory ailments, and elevated flood risks, necessitating prompt and comprehensive solutions. The evidence is unequivocal: global warming is a genuine and severe issue, requiring concerted efforts to address its detrimental impacts. Governments and individuals alike must take decisive action by reducing carbon emissions, adopting sustainable practices, and implementing resilience measures to safeguard the health of both current and future generations. Failure to undertake these measures could have far-reaching and irreversible consequences for human health and the environment. In acknowledging the situation’s urgency, we must recognize our collective responsibility for mitigating global warming. Each individual and nation must contribute to the global effort to curb emissions and foster sustainability, underscoring the importance of a unified approach to tackle this pressing challenge.
Balasubramanian, T. N. (2023). Global warming and health hazards to Indian farmers. Journal of Agrometeorology, 25(1), 92–97. https://www.proquest.com/docview/2785662676?accountid=3455&parentSessionId=qGi5mSZze1XAq4dV9OK012oZeszmMJHOGKLVevAdOr0%3D&pq-origsite=primo
Bella, H. (2016). Global warming and health: Still still possible. Saudi Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, 4(2), 69–70. https://go-gale-com.library.sheridanc.on.ca/ps/i.do?p=AONE&u=ko_acd_shc&id=GALE|A446903172&v=2.1&it=r
Gautret, P., Parola, P., & Raoult, D. (2017). Global Warming and Global Decrease in Vector-Borne Disease Prevalence and Mortality. Follow the capitalization rule of the reference page. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 215(4), 660-661. https://www-jstor-org.library.sheridanc.on.ca/stable/26166956?sid=primotypeAccessWorkflow=loginseq=1
Jiménez, E., Tapiador, F. J., & Sáez-Martínez, F. J. (2015). Atmospheric pollutants in a changing environment: key issues in reactivity and monitoring, global warming, and health. Environmental Science and Pollution Research International, 22(7), 4789–4792. https://www-sciencedirect-com.library.sheridanc.on.ca/science/article/pii/S1309104215304487