Our planet is shrouded in greenhouse gases.Methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor (H2O) and nitric oxide (N2O) accumulate in the earth's atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect. This means that the sun's rays hit the Earth, are reflected from the surface but get stuck in the lower atmosphere. Which, in turn, leads to rising average temperatures, heatwaves and extreme weather events. The latter, by the way, are happening more and more often: in some parts of France and Spain it is now as hot as it usually happens in July or August. High temperatures were also recorded in the northern part of China (and in the south, heavy rains led to flooding). In Russia, climate change is happening faster than in other countries, and the air temperature in the capital over the weekend exceeded 30°C.
- 1 Heat: A portrait of a killer
- 2 Effects of heat on health
- 3 How to behave in hot weather
- 4 Heat waves and a hazy future
Heat: Portrait of a Killer
We all love to bask in the sun.Sandy beach, sea water and light breeze are good for health. Unlike extreme heat, which claims the lives of tens of thousands of people every year. Yes, yes, you read everything correctly - the number of victims of global warming is hundreds of thousands.
The damage caused by abnormal heat manifests itself in different ways. Thus, drought in poor agricultural countries has detrimental effect on cropsleading to food shortages and increasedprices. Rapid climate change is fraught with extreme weather events, which in the coming decades could turn a large part of the land into a scorched desert.
In the summer of 2003, a heat wave in Europe claimed the lives of at least 70 thousand people, which became known five years later. Think about these numbers.
Long-term increase in air temperature up to +35°Cand above creates an additional burden on the body, which can lead to death. And, as the results of numerous scientific studies show, in the coming years, the heat will cause the death of hundreds of thousands of people. According to the reports of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the greatest danger is a series of abnormally hot days.
Excessive heat has also been linked to an increase in crime, anxiety disorders, depression and suicide.
The results of a large-scale study,published in the Lancet Planetary Health showed that between 2000 and 2019, the average daily temperature in 43 countries increased by 0.26°C per decade. And although more people have died from the cold over the past 20 years than from the heat, in the future the situation will change and affect all population groups.
The effect of heat on health
According to the World Health Organization(WHO) Long periods of extremely hot days exacerbate the world's leading causes of death. These include respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and kidney disease. The elderly, infants, pregnant women and those who work outdoors are most at risk.
Dehydration, heat stroke and heart failuredeficiencies occur incredibly quickly. When the body is unable to control body temperature, it rises to 40 degrees and above, damaging the internal organs. The fact is that excessive sweating disrupts the water and salt balance in the body, and the nutrition of muscle cells and overall performance deteriorate.
Heat also changes human behavior and contributes to the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. And, as shown by the results of a previously published study, the heat reduces mental activity by 13%.
Note that the scale and nature of the impacthigh temperatures on health depends on the time, intensity and duration of the weather event. Fortunately, almost all adverse health effects associated with heat are preventable.
How to behave in hot weather
Health experts believe thatThe best way to survive the heat is to prepare for it in advance. This will help a simple set of rules, observing which you will keep healthy not only for yourself, but also for those close to you.
- Drink plenty of water, even if you don't feel thirsty
- Spend as much time as possible in cool or air-conditioned rooms
- Close windows indoors using curtains and blinds. You can open the windows in the evening when a cool breeze blows.
- Avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day. Apply sunscreen before going out and don't forget a hat.
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fabrics such as cotton and linen.
- Don't count on a fan - it creates air movement and provides a false sense of comfort. The fan does not reduce body temperature and does not prevent heat stroke
- Watch your diet and portion sizes - they should be small. It is advisable to include cold dishes in the diet, such as salads. And of course, make sure the products are stored properly.
- Avoid intense physical activity. Sports, repairs and gardening during the heat are a very bad idea
Be aware of the effects of heatstrokesigns of which include high fever, redness and dryness of the skin, irregular pulse, dizziness, confusion or loss of consciousness. Also, in no case do not let the person drink and cool the victim by any means available until the arrival of an ambulance.
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Heat waves and a hazy future
You must have heard of "heat waves" -distribution of heat by air currents circulating around the globe. As the results of the research have shown, the so-called heat waves simultaneously affect vast areas, puzzling scientists.
Between 1979 and 2019, heatwaveshit the eastern part of North America, Europe, Central and East Asia. In the future, the number of extreme weather events will increase significantly, the researchers believe.
Remember that rapid climate changeoccurs through the fault of man, and greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere have reached critical values. According to IPEC reports, several points of no return have been passed, which means that there will be more and more extreme weather events. And about whether humanity is ready for the hot weather of the future, I talked here.
Could climate change lead to a Little Ice Age? We talked about the likely disasters of the future, do not miss
Today climate change is a seriouspolitical, economic and environmental issue, and a central topic of political and public debate. However, the situation is unlikely to improve, rather the opposite: drought, fires, environmental degradation and heat waves can lead to armed conflicts and fierce competition for resources.
The situation is complicated by the fact that many climate changes are irreversible. Thus, according to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, humanity will face global hunger, and in 2023 the world may plunge into climate chaos.
In part, we are already in it - thousands of people are forced to leave their homes due to the effects of climate change.
Mass migrations can also lead tothe spread of infectious diseases, including monkeypox, Ebola, malaria and, of course, COVID-19. And, as humanity moves further and further away from the goal of keeping warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius, can we look forward to a brighter future? Personally, I strongly doubt this. What do you think about this? The answer, as always, is waiting here and in the comments to this article.