Climate change is one of the complex problems facing mankind today. The
overriding complexity of the problem is attributed to its deeper global
ramifications on a vast range of issues impacting the very survival of life on
Earth. Understanding such a complex issue with vast and varied dimensions and
implications, assumes greater significance for all stakeholders, especially for
our policy makers. There are varieties of perceptions regarding the exact size
and consequences of climate change. Yet, it is no secret that risks emanating
from climate change are indeed profound, which call for urgent mitigation. There
is now strong evidence that climate change is a reality.
Today, it has been scientifically established that significant global warming is
occurring. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from
observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures,
widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level. There is
no denying the fact that the problem exists and it is assuming alarming
proportions, each passing day. Therefore, there is an imperative need to take
urgent and strong measures in the interest of calibrating an appropriate
response to meet the emerging challenges of climate change.
Climate change is not an isolated issue. It has several aspects and
inter-linkages namely, science and technology, economy and trade, diplomacy and
politics - that makes it not just another issue in this complicated world of
proliferating issues, but the mother of all issues. Climate change, however, is
different from other problems facing humanity and it compels us to think
differently at many levels. It obliges us to think about what it means to live
as part of an ecologically interdependent human community.
In the face of many diversities that characterize human society, climate change
provides a potent reminder of one thing that we share in common - the planet
Earth. All nations and all people share the same atmosphere. And, we only have
one. Addressing the climate chaos by all the countries both individually and
collectively, will be critical to the human well-being and prosperity of the
present as well as the future generation.
What do we mean by climate change?
Climate change is the long alternative of temperature and normal weather pattern
in a place. This could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole.
It is currently occurring throughout the world as a result of global warming. Or
we can say that It is a periodic modification of earth’s climate brought about
as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interaction between the
atmosphere and various other geological, biological, chemical and geographical
factors within the earth system.
The most common cause of climate change is global warming which is occurred by
the greenhouse effect, a natural process by which the atmosphere retains some of
the sun’s heat, allowing the earth to maintain the necessary conditions to host
life. Without the greenhouse effect. The average temperature of the planet would
be 18º C.
Today, humankinds activities are altering the worlds climate. We are increasing
the atmospheric concentration of energy trapping gases, thereby amplifying the
natural green house effect that makes the earth habitable. These green house
gases comprises, principally, carbon dioxide (mostly by fossil fuel), with the
heat wrapping gasses such as methane (from animal husbandry, irrigation
agriculture, oil extraction), nitrous oxide, and by human made halocarbons.
“there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the
last 50 years is attributable to human activities” it was stated in the
assessment report of Un’s intergovernmental panel on climate change(IPCC) in
During the 20th century the average surface temperature of the world increased
by approx. 0.6*C, and approx. 2/3 of that warming has occurred since 1975. The
global scale of climate change differ fundamentally from the many other familiar
environmental concern that refers to the localized toxicological or
microbiological hazards. Indeed, it signifies that, today, we are altering the
earth’s biophysical and ecological system at the planetary scale-as is also
evented by the stratospheric ozone depletion, acceleration biodiversity losses,
stresses on terrestrial and marine food-production system. European population
were all effected by the nature’s great climatic cycle. The IPCC in 2001
estimated that the global average temperature will rise by several degrees
centigrade during this century.
Types Of Climate Change Assessments
- Climate change impact assessments:- it is identified and
qualified the expected impacts of climate change. These syntheses the
current scientific knowledge of the expected effects if climate change on a
focus area, such as a resource, economic sector, landscape, or region, for
decades to centuries into the future.
- Vulnerability assessments: it goes beyond the impact to determine
the system’s sensitivity and ability to adapt to climate change, and may be
used in place of or in addition to its impact. It is a function of explore,
sensitively and adaptive capacity.
• Natural resources assessments:
- Sensitivity: it involves environmental thresholds, dependences on
other species, interaction with other species, disturbance specialized habit
of particular organisms, and other environmental stressors.
- Exposure:it is made up of primary factor (i.e. temperatures,
precipitations), secondary factor (i.e. hydrology, sea level rise,
vegetation changes), and non- climate stressors (i.e. development, invasive
- Adaptive capacity: it include plasticity, dispersal abilities,
evolutionary potential, and landscape permeability.
generally describes the current
condition of specific natural resources, and assess factors that are affecting
the resources, wish the goal of providing timely, relevant and accessible
information for decision makers and policy makers.
Causes of climate change
Earths temperature depends upon the balance between the energy entering and
leaving the planets system. When the incoming energy from the sun is absorbed by
the earth surface, earth warm. When suns energy is reflected back to the space,
earth voids warming when absorbed energy is released back into space, earth gets
cool. Many factors both nature and human, can cause changes in earths energy
- Variations in the suns energy. Reaching earth
- Changes in the reflectivity of earths atmosphere and surface.
Chances in the greenhouse effect which effects the amount of heat restraint
by earths atmosphere.
These factor has caused earths climate to change many times. Mostly earth
climate gets effected by the greenhouse effect which causes atmosphere to retain
its heat. When sunlight reaches to the earth surface, it can be either be
reflected back into the space or absorbed by earth. Once absorbed, the planet
releases some of the energy back into the atmosphere as heat also called
Greenhouse gases like water vapor , carbon dioxide, and methane absorbs energy,
slowing or preventing the loss of heat to space. In this way GHGs act like a
blanket, making earth warmer than it would otherwise be. This process is
commonly known as “greenhouse effect
Recent Role Of Greenhouses Gases in The Atmosphere
Since the industrial revolution began around 1750, human activities have
contributed substantially to climate change by adding CO2 and other heat
trapping gasses to the atmosphere. These greenhouses gases emissions have
increased the greenhouse effect and causes earth surfaces temperature to rise.
The primary human activities affecting the amount and rate of climate change is
greenhouse gas emission from burning of fossil fuel.
The main gases of the greenhouse:
The most important GHGs directly emitted by humans including carbon dioxide,
methane , nitro oxide, and several others like : water vapor, troposphere ozone
O3, chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs). Black carbon(BC), sulfates, organic carbon,
warming and cooling aerosols these forces effect the change in climate of the
earth and causes several diseases to the human life.
Effects Caused By The Climate Change To Human Life
In this wide world , today , there is an apparent increase in many infectious
diseases, including some newly circulating ones like(HIV/AIDS, hantavirus,
hepatitis C, SARS, etc.). this reflects the combined impacts of rapid
demographic, environmental, social, technology and other changes in our
ways-of-living climate change will also effect infectious disease occurrence.
In the late 19th century, roman aristocrats retreated to hill resorts each
summary to avoid malaria. South Asian learned early that, in higher summer,
strongly curried foods were less likely to cause diarrhea. Infectious agents
vary gently in size, type and mode of transmission.
There are viruses, bacteria, protozoa and multicellular parasites. Those
microbes that cause “anthrophonic” have adapted, via evolution, to the human
species as their primary, usually exclusive, host. in contrast, the animals are
the natural reservoir for those infections agents that cause “zoonoses” they are
directly transmitted anthroponoses such as HIV/AIDS, measles and zoonoses such
as rabies. They are also indirectly transmitted, vector-borne, amthroponoses
such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever. And zoonoses such as bubonic plague
and Lyme disease.
Vector-Borne And Water-Borne Diseases
Important determinants of vector borne disease transmission include: (i) Vector
survival and reproduction (ii) The vectors biting rate (iii) The pathogens
incubation rate within the vector organism. Vectors, pathogens and hosts each
survival and reproduced within the range of optimal climatic conditions:
temperature and precipitation are the most important, while sea level elevation,
wind, and daylight duration are also important.
Human exposure to water borne infections occurs by contact with contaminated
drinking water, recreational water, or food. This may results from human
actions, such as improper disposal of sewage wastes, or due to weather events.
Rainfall can influence the transport and dissemination of infectious agents,
while temperature effects their growth and survival.
How Law Supports The Prevention of Climate
The government of India introduces some Laws related to environment which
suppose to prevent the climate. As the ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ACT,1986
authorizes the central government to protect and improve environmental quality,
control and reduce pollution from all sources, and prohibit or restrict the
setting and operate of any industrial facility on environmental grounds.
Environmental law not only aim to protect the environment from harm, but they
also determine who can use natural resources and on what terms.
Laws may regulate population, the use of natural resources, forest protection,
mineral harvesting and animal and fish populations. Some other law are passed by
the government to protect the environment such as THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT
POLICY ACT (NEPE) passed in 1970 alone with the environmental quality
improvement act and the NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION ACT. The main objective
of these laws was to protect the environment against public and private harm.
Climate related exposures:
IPCC’s 3rd assessment report project that as
we continue to change atmospheric composition, global average surface
temperature will rise up to 1.4 to 5.8ºC in this century. along with changes
with precipitation and other climate changing variables.
Reaching consensus on the science :- the science of the climate has achieved
increasing consenus among scientists. There is increasing evidence that human
health will be affected in many and diverse ways. Knowledge is still limited in
many areas, for example on the contribution of short terms climate variability
to disease incidents; on development of early warming systems for predicting
diseases outbreaks and extreme weather events ; and on understanding how
recurring extreme events may weaken adaptive capacity.
Challenges to the scientists: it poses some changes, including the complexity of
casual process, the unavoidable uncertainties, and temporal displacement of
anticipated impacts into the future. Some important research topics include
identifying the first effect of the climate change on human health will be
apparent; improving estimate of climate change impacts.
Extreme climate events : the IPCCs report projected changes in extreme climate
events that include more hot days and heat waves; more intense precipitation
events; increased risk of drought; increase in winds and tropical cyclones (over
some areas), intensified droughts and floods with EI Nino events; and increased
variability in the Asian summer monsoon.
Infectious diseases: the diseases epically those which are transmitted by insect
vectors or water are sensitive to climatic conditions. Incident data is need to
provide a baseline for epidemiological studies. The lack of precise knowledge of
current diseases incidence rates makes It difficult to comment about whether
incident is changing as the result of climate change.
The burden of diseases: the stock of empirical evidence relating climatic trends
to altered health outcomes remains spare. This estimating the range timing and
magnitude of likely future health impacts of global environment changes. Even
initial attempts has been made, within the frame work of the WHO (world health
organization) global burden of diseases 2000 project.
Stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change and health: this is essentially a
different process from climate change. However, greenhouse warming does effected
by many of the chemical and physical processes involved in the depletion of
Monitoring climate change impacts on human health: climate change is likely to
affect disease that are also influenced by other factors. Monitoring to assess
climate change impacts on health there for, requires data-gathering coupled with
analytical method able to quantify the climate attributable portion of such
diseases. Monitoring and surveillance system in many countries currently cannot
provide useful data on climate sensitive disease. Less developed countries
should strengthen existing system in order to meet current needs.
Adapting of climate change : As we know that climate change is already underway
and hence we need some adaption policies to complement mitigation policies.
Efficient implementation of adaptation strategies can significantly reduce
adverse health impacts of climate change.
Precisely at a time when India is confronted with development imperatives, we
will also be severely impacted by climate change. With close economic ties to
natural resources and climate-sensitive sectors, India may face a major threat,
and require serious adaptive capacity to combat climate change. With 27.5 per
cent of the population still below the poverty line reducing vulnerability to
the impacts of climate change is essential. In response to the predicted changes
in public health due to climate change, our policymakers need to work to
strengthen the health care systems along with water and wastewater systems.
Adaptation will require diverse strategies like inter-sectoral coordination
which could include physical modification to the built environment and improved
housing and building standards. In order to address some of the predicted
changes as well as those are taking place in India in an effective manner, more
emphasis is required on the following policies:
- Strengthening health systems and service delivery mechanisms
- Provision of drinking water and sanitation facility to all
- Provision of funding for low income communities with poor sheltering and
high exposure/risk to heat and cold wave
The article shows that linkages between climate change and human health are
complex and multi-layered and predictions of the future health impacts of
climate change are still uncertain. Over India, the annual mean temperature has
increased in the past hundred years. Projection of the future climate change
scenario shows catastrophic events will exhibit an increase in frequency and
intensity resulting in enormous impact on human life in terms of death toll and
disease epidemic Climate change is happening and emissions are bound to increase
due to growing economy of India.
Therefore, addressing both mitigation and adaptation is important. Even the
developed nations are struggling to cope up with the challenges posed by the
changing climate; India needs to put more efforts to counter the same.
Considering the increasing trend of impact of climate change on human health,
adoption of mitigation measures like strengthening health systems and service
delivery mechanisms through early Therefore, climate change occurs when changes
in earth’s climate system results in new weather patterns that remains in place
for an extended period of time. This length of time cab be as short as a few
decades to as long as millions of year.
Direct effect of environmental circumstances may ease the diffusion of vector
borne and water borne diseases. Economics would play a major role in combating
the potential threat. Countries with good GDP would be able to introduce the
best available tools of intervention and can fill up the lacunae in health
Seeing the cumulating trend of impact of climate change on human health,
implementation of alleviation measures like consolidation health systems and
service delivery mechanizing through early delivery. Thus for the prevention of
the climate change government of India has taken initiatives to protect the
environment before the worst come. By enacting the certain laws, principals and
some acts to guide the human for the prevention of the environment.