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Climate change fuels spread of malaria, kidney stones, diarrhoea, says WHO

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor (Head Insight Team, Science & Technology)   |   03 December 2015   |   3:10 am  

Climate change effects

Climate change effects

New warning by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and results of emerging studies are indicating that humanity is being threatened by effects of climate change.

As the leaders of 150 countries meet in Paris for a key conference on climate change, WHO has warned that diseases such as malaria and water borne diarrhoea are sensitive to global warming.

In fact, WHO, in a report published by euronews, has warned that in the next 15 years, climate change will cause at least a quarter of a million more deaths a year across the world.

The WHO listed ten diseases that are spreading due to climate change as kidney stones; valley fever; West Nile virus; Chikungunya; dengue fever; malaria; lyme disease; rocky mountain spotted fever; other tick-borne diseases; and Naegleria Fowleri.

Also, researchers from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom (UK), have found that falling oxygen levels caused by global warming could be a greater threat to the survival of life on planet Earth than flooding.

The study led by a professor in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester’s Department of Mathematics, Sergei Petrovskii, has shown that an increase in the water temperature of the world’s oceans of around six degrees Celsius, which some scientists predict could occur as soon as 2100, could stop oxygen production by phytoplankton by disrupting the process of photosynthesis.

The paper ‘Mathematical Modelling of Plankton-Oxygen Dynamics Under the Climate Change’ was published in the Bulletin of Mathematical Biology.

According to the WHO’s country profile on Nigeria, the impacts of climate change in the country could include rising temperatures, more intense and frequent extreme weather events and sea level rise. For the population, this could result in increased water and food insecurity, higher exposure to heat stress and ultraviolet radiation, changes in infectious and vector-borne disease transmission patterns and increased threat to coastal communities facing sea level rise.

Adequate adaptation and mitigation could help to protect public health, development, security and land and water resources from the potential threats posed by climate change.

In the summary of its findings on Nigeria, the WHO noted: “Under a high emissions scenario, mean annual temperature is projected to rise by about 4.9°C on average from 1990 to 2100. If emissions decrease rapidly, the temperature rise is limited to about 1.4°C.”



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