4.1 Systems Analysis

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4.1 Systems Analysis
The Impact of Global Warming
on Health
By: Momina
Introduction
What is Global warming?
What is the cause of Global warming?
What is climate change and what are its affects??
What are the consequences of Global
Warming
The Counter Argument
Global warming is the trapping of greenhouse gases in the
earths atmosphere. This in turn affects biodiversity. Whenever
someone says global warming the following things just flash
into our minds:
Rising Sea Levels
Melting Glaciers
Migration of Animals
Increased Precipitation
Higher Average
Temperatures
Have you ever thought of the affect global warming has on human
health?
Back to Introduction
First you need to understand what the greenhouse effect is.
The green house effect is when the green house gases (which include
carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane and ozone and nitrous oxide) hold
the heat in the atmosphere. The purpose the greenhouse effect is keep
the Earth warm.
So what’s happening now?
There is an abnormal increase in greenhouse gases. This abnormal increase is
because of human activities such as:
• burning solid waste and wood
• burning fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal
• deforestation
• release of hydroflourocarbons
What the above activities are doing is that the they trap more than normal heat in
the atmosphere which causes global warming.
Back to Introduction
Carbon pollution is causing climate change that drives dangerous heat waves
and worsens smog pollution. This causes asthma attacks and other serious
respiratory illnesses.
Climate change has the following affects:
1. Warming temperatures increases smog pollution
2. Deaths from heat related illnesses increase
3. Patterns of diseases have also begun changing
4. Increase in temperatures will cause water shortages. This could harm crop
production; diminishing food variety, nutritional content and availability.
5. Warmer air holds more moisture. This means that it is more likely to pour which
increases the risk of flooding.
Back to Introduction
High air temperatures increase the ozone concentration at
ground level. The natural ozone layer in the upper
atmosphere protects the earth from the sun’s harmful
ultraviolet radiation; but at ground level ozone becomes a
harmful pollutant that damages lung tissue and aggravates
asthma and other breathing diseases. Even in healthy
individuals exposure to modest levels of ozone can cause
nausea, chest pain and pulmonary congestion.
Worsening Air
Pollution
Back to Introduction
More illnesses and death resulting from heat waves
Worsening air pollution
Increase in vector-borne disease
Changing food production
More severe and frequent wildfires
Flooding
Back to Introduction
What is a heat wave?
A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather,
which may be accompanied by high humidity.
Increasing severity of the heat waves will lead to more heat
stroke and other heat-related illnesses and death.
Evidence:
In the summer of 2003 there was a heat wave in Europe that claimed about 35,000 lives.
In the summer of 2007 Greece suffered a massive heat wave and had record wildfires.
In the USA, heat waves account for more deaths than hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and
earthquakes combined.
Back to Introduction
Back to consequences
As air pollution worsens there will be an increase in the number of respiratory
and cardiovascular diseases. This includes asthma and cardiac dysrhythmia.
Air pollution worsens as a result of smog pollution.
Increase in temperature raises levels of ozone and other pollutants. This
increase of greenhouse gases exacerbates cardiovascular and respiratory
disease.
Evidence:
In 2010, the American Lung Association estimated that about 23 million
Americans suffer from asthma.
Back to Introduction
Back to consequences
Increase in heat, precipitation and humidity allows tropical and subtropical insects to
move from regions where infectious diseases thrive into new places.
As temperature increases and rainfall patterns change, and summers become longer, the
insects can remain active for longer seasons and in wider areas, greatly increasing the
risk for the people who live there.
The following are examples of them:
1. Dengue Fever: this is characterized by high fever, headaches, bone and joint aches,
and a rash.
2. Lyme Disease: this is transmitted primarily through bites from certain tick species.
As temperatures warm, ticks are able to move into new regions.
3. West Nile Virus: it spread rapidly westward across the country. The warmer
temperatures, high rainfall and high humidity have increased the rate of human
infection.
Back to Introduction
Back to consequences
The increasing temperatures affects the stable crop production and food
security. This can be beneficial as well as damaging to the economy of
different countries. For example, people who live in poor countries will have a
decrease in their crop production. However in Canada, they maybe able to
expand their arable land.
The prices of wheat, rice and other staples rise rapidly. Also more severe
weather, like monsoons or hurricanes, can destroy and leave entire
communities without food.
Back to Introduction
Back to consequences
Severe heat increases the frequency of wildfire. This
threatens homes, lives and livelihoods and cause poor air
quality.
Evidence:
The wildfire in California displaced more than 1 million people
Back to Introduction
Back to consequences
Flooding is often a result of rising sea levels. Often areas that are near the
river deltas and coastal cities are susceptible to flooding.
So what happens as a result of flood displacement?
• increased transmission of water-borne disease from
stagnant water
• challenge of feeding and sheltering the displaced
• sewage backup and squalid (extremely dirty and
unpleasant) conditions
• strained disaster relief resources
Evidence:
7 million people were displaced by flooding in Dhaka, Bangladesh and a flood in
2004 in the same area killed 700 people.
Back to Introduction
Back to consequences
There are some people who believe that global warming is a convenient
scapegoat (something that is punished for the errors of others) for putting the
blame on increasing incidence of infectious diseases. They believe that the
following may be possible reasons:
• increasing disregard for public health practices
• Overcrowding of cities
• Rise in population of vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks- due to
inadequate control measures
• Increased international travel by people that can take virus across the
hemisphere
• Genetic mutation in bacteria and viruses
Back to Introduction

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