Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle.It is affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and weather events are becoming more extreme.
Climate change is already impacting health in a myriad of ways, including by leading to death and illness from increasingly frequent extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, storms and floods, the disruption of food systems, increases in zoonoses and food-, water- and vector-borne diseases, and mental health issues.
Rising temperatures are affecting our climate and as a result, it affects our environment and the functions it delivers. One such key function is nutrient replenishment. Climate change puts nutrient cycles at risk, which has a knock-on effect on soil fertility.Such effect is not only important in terms of preserving biodiversity and habitats, but it is also critical for agricultural activity and food security. More specifically, as soils become dryer with climate change, this impacts nitrogen and carbon concentrations which are the building blocks for plant growth
Climate change is already an urgent threat to millions of lives – but there are solutions. From changing how we get our energy to limiting deforestation, here are some of the key solutions to climate change.
'Climate change is real. Climate change is being substantially increased by humans and the carbon we put into the atmosphere. And it appears to be speeding up. If science has made any mistakes, science has been underestimating it.'
Humans and wild animals face new challenges for survival because of climate change. More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people's livelihoods and communities.
Raising awareness and thereby understanding of the effects of climate change on health will facilitate both behavioural change and societal support for the actions needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It can also help in getting health-care professionals to support strategies for mitigation and adaptation that will both improve health and reduce vulnerability.