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Heading: Term Paper

Name: Amina I. Solaiman Course: B.S. Biology-III

Subject: Bio-225 Date Submitted: October 19, 2013

______________________________________________________________________ Global Climate Change and Infectious Disease Introduction: Global climate change involves the abnormal rising of temperatures and changing rainfall patterns that occurs on a global scale. Due to the drastic changes in climatic patterns in our environment, it has had a great impact on a lot of infectious diseases that pesters the health and wellness of mankind. Brought about by industrialization and modernization, we people suffer more because of the negative effects it poses on our environment, rather than the comfort and ease technology brings. Greenhouse gases which are primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide result from the combustion of fossil fuels that absorbs infrared radiation which is the reemission of solar radiation which is absorbed by the earths atmosphere , are that which causes the accumulation of heat in the atmosphere. It is due to a lot of factors that which contribute to global warming and that eventually leads to climate change, including deforestation where trees are being cut down from mountains insensitively and thus there are no enough trees to absorb this accumulation of heat. Due to climate change, infectious diseases of vectorborne and waterborne are on the rise, severe drought and flooding due to the meltdown of polar ice caps happens. More so, insect vectors tend to be more active at higher temperatures, and so heat brought about by climate change would favor infectious diseases that are vectorborne or that which are generated by organisms that transmit a pathogen. Since climate change, brings drought, there would be scarcity of water that will lead to poor sanitation and the propagation of waterborne diseases such as cholera will prevail. Issues: The accumulation of heat brought about by the greenhouse gases, which is unstoppable due to lesser trees being able to absorb heat, the hydrologic cycle will be affected, and so water will be unevenly distributed. Some places will experience drought while other parts of the globe will experience flooding. Because of global warming, which is now termed as global climate change due to the effects of the rising temperatures around the globe which severely affect climate patterns contributes to the spread of infectious diseases on a global scale. Insect vectors are of the main carriers of infectious diseases, such as yellow fever, dengue,

and malaria. These could also be considered as waterborne diseases as they insects that brought such diseases lay their eggs on water. In the United States, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2007 spent less than one percent of its entire operating budget on research related to the neglected diseases. Moreover, studies that cover the relationship of these infectious diseases to climate change are not flourishing yet they are of the utmost importance. Actions: Kyoto protocol which was developed in the year 1997 by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed by 187 nations which took effect on the year 2005. Kyoto protocol is all about reduction of the collective greenhouse gases emissions of the 37 developed countries by 5.2% compared with 1990 levels by 2012. Emissions trading, which is one of the mechanisms developed to achieve this, is a trade where countries can exchange credits for greenhouse emissions. The United Nations Climate Change Conference which was held in Copenhagen last December 18, 2009 was to discuss about Climate Change and the aftercare of the Kyoto protocol which will expire on the year 2012. But sadly, there came no particular agreement on the issue of climate change and the next step or project they will take after the Kyoto protocol. During the meeting, the suggestion of the European Union which was to reduce carbon dioxide gas emissions by thirty percent (fifteen to thirty percent for developing countries) below 1990 levels by 2020. This would be accomplished by emissions trading, development of new emissions standards for cars, promoting energy efficiency among the residential sector, investment in renewable energy sources (rather than fossil fuels), reduction in deforestation, and advancement of technologies to capture and store carbon from the atmosphere (Shuman E. K., 2011). It is not only on the greenhouse gases emissions the actions on preventing adverse effects of climate change that should be emphasized. Researches on ecological studies have also been put in the forefront, studies that encompass multidisciplinary fields such as botany (including forestry), zoology, entomology, microbiology, hydrology, climatology, and epidemiology. Climate change has got to do something with our surroundings, thus the crucial pieces of information for us to be able to discern what climate change might bring will be the studies on field (Shope, 1991). More so, an emphasis on the additional research on the ecology and the epidemiology of infectious diseases that is affected by climate change is needed. Like what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has done, they have been a major source of funding and innovation for research and problem-solving in developing countries. in the year 2007, they announced an ambitious plan to work toward eradication of malaria. The Malaria Eradication Research Agenda was established as an international collaborative effort, and one of the items on this agenda must be to study the potential impact of climate change on malaria (Shuman E. K., 2011).

Conclusion: We should open our eyes to the real situation that we are facing. Rich or poor, adults and even the young ones- everybody must be involved in creating a solution to the problems brought about by climate change and the diseases that are associated with it. Which is why being individual citizens as a part of a bigger society, must be able to devise even the simplest of plans which would help alleviate the harsh effects of climate change. We should prefer using renewable energy sources than the use of fossil fuels as energy source, recycle things as much as possible, and drive or ride public transportation that are fuel efficient. In our little ways we could help ease the bigger problem that each and every one of us faces. Moreover, the government, local and national and even the international community should find ways so as much as possible to lower or prevent a harsher problem brought about by climate change in the future. In addition to that, organizations such as the World Health Organization must, more than any other, be at the forefront of discussing such problems related to the health and welfare of millions of people around the globe.

References: Shope, R. (1991). Global Climate Change and Infectious Diseases. Environmental Health Perspectives, 96:171-174. Shuman, E. K. (2010). Global Climate Change and Infectious Diseases. The New England Journal of Medicine, 1061-1063. Shuman, E. K. (2011). Global Climate Change and Infectious Diseases. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2:11-19.