Extreme Weather and Health Hazards--
Extreme weather events increases with the climate change phenomena. These
extreme weathers are hazardous for the health of people. With climate change,
the occurrence of natural disaster increases around the world. These disasters
include, not only the disasters related to water, but also earthquake, pandemic
The extreme weather events fall into three categories—high precipitation
disaster, low precipitation disaster, and sea level rise disaster.
- High Precipitation disaster- The events like storm, floods and
landslide can be disastrous and kill population on a mass scale.
Source-- climatenexus ALPHA
The above average rainfall effects on health--
||Potential Health Impact
||Increase mosquito abundance.
||River/streams overtop its banks
||Mosquitoes and surface water contamination
||Property and crop damage
||Change in mosquitos' abundance and contamination of water with fecal
materials and rat urine.
||Catastrophic flood or disaster
||Flood on big scale that may lead to govt call or external
||Larger health impacts due to mosquitoes, contaminated diseases and
- Low Precipitation disaster—It includes heat waves, drought and
wildfire. There is severe health risk associated with heat waves. Extreme
heat possesses a problem because it disrupts the body's natural abilities to
regulate its temperature. In extreme heat, body would not be able to get rid
of enough heat, so that the body temperature rises. This may lead to
conditions like heat stroke.
The extreme heat also increases the risk of death from heart diseases,
respiratory diseases, kidney diseases and other illness.
The below average rainfall effect on health--
||Potential Health Impact
||Soil moisture decreases as evaporation exceeds water
||Change in vector abundance
||Drier than normal conditions leading to decreased crop
||Depends on socio-economic factors of the land.
||Reduction in food supply or income, reduction in water
supply and quality
||Food shortages, illness, malnutrition etc.
||Food shortage/ famine/ drought/ disaster
||Food shortage leading to deaths
||Severe health impacts lead to population displacement
- Sea-level rise disaster—The rise in sea level causes severe
health hazards for the coastal communities. It is estimated that nearly 40%
of the world population live 100 km around the sea coast. Any big natural
disaster associated with rise in sea level can become havoc for this large
population live near the coast.
- Not only sea-level rise, but oceanic acidification is also causing
severe problems to the health. The health of ocean has a direct effect on
the health of humans. Human relies heavily on oceans for food, nutrition,
employment, weather pattern and transportation. Therefore, any impact of
extreme weather over the ocean would have direct effect on human survival.
- Climate change can be mitigated by addressing these issue by
multidisciplinary approach that works at global, national and community
level. Climate is an important determinant of human health. Therefore, it is
required to research and understand the effect of changing weather and
climate upon human health. Table below shows priority health research areas
for different risk factors resulting from climate change--
||Priority research areas
|Extreme heat or cold; stagnant airmasses
||Temperature related illness and death.
||Improved prediction, warning and response
|Strong precipitation and variability
||Extreme weather-related health effects
||Assessment of past impacts and effectiveness of the warning.
|Local air pollution, stagnant air masses
||Air pollution related health effects
||Combined effects of climate factors and air pollution; weather
|Precipitation, water temperature, temperature, humidity,
precipitation, water scarcity, land use, extreme events, population
|Water borne and food-borne diseases Vector borne and rodent borne
diseases Nutritional deficiencies
|Climate and marine related diseases
Climate, land-use impacts on water quality and health
Climate related disease transmission dynamics; improved surveillance
Health and agricultural sector adaptation strategies
Assessment of past interventions related to emergencies and population
As climate change processes already are underway, efforts also must focus on
assessing current and future vulnerabilities and identifying necessary
interventions or adaptation options. Adaptation has the potential to reduce
adverse effects of climate change but is not expected to prevent all damages.
Therefore, early planning for health is essential to reduce, hopefully avoid,
near future and longer-term health impacts of global climate change. The optimal
solution, however, is in the hands of governments, society and every
individual—a commitment for a change in values to enable a full transition to
Q. Which of the following is/are correct regarding United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)--
- It is one of the outcomes of Earth summit held in 1992.
- UNFCCC is itself legally binding but Kyoto Protocol is not legally
binding at all.
- The COP 23 of UNFCCC was held in Bonn, Germany.
(1) Only I
(2) Only I, III
(3) Only I and II
(4) Only I, II, III
Hint—Answer (2). UNFCCC itself is non-legally binding. However, its Kyoto
protocol is a legally binding.
Essay—Climate Change and its hazardous effect over the health.
Hint—Write by yourself.