Global warming, sometimes referred to as climate change is a term that refers to a gradual progressive increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and its oceans. As the name implies, it is a global phenomenon that spares no continent of the Earth, especially the polar Arctic and Antarctic regions. In the last 60 years, the weather has become increasingly hot and scientists expect heat waves to become more intense as global warming intensifies. The fallouts of global warming are diverse including heat waves, melting of the polar ice caps which may lead to rising sea levels and increased incidence of flooding. Moreover, the impact of global warming on the health of the populace cannot be overemphasised even it has been linked to malnutrition, heat strokes, allergies and spread of insect-borne diseases. In Nigeria for instance, the unpalatable consequences of global warming appear to have become more pronounced of late with the protracted hot weather that has bedevilled people in most parts of the country. The rainy season now seems shorter while the dry season appears endless with far-reaching implications for our food security and overall health.
Furthermore, it's instructive to note that this phenomenon is not unrelated to our own activities such as massive land clearing, indiscriminate deforestation, burning of fossil fuels which releases large quantities of greenhouse gases like carbondioxide and methane into our environment. These gases absorb and emit infrared radiation which leads to warming.
In this article, we will focus on the phenomenon of global warming as it affects our health and how we can stay healthy amidst the global challenge.
1. Disruption of food supplies
Global warming is a threat to food security as it can destroy both animal and plant life. For instance, acid rain as a result of accumulated carbondioxide can potentially poison fish and other aquatic life that usually serve as good sources of food for humans. Prolonged drought characterised by lack of rainfall will adversely affect the cultivation of common staple crops such as rice, wheat, beans and so on. Similarly, our meat source is also compromised when the cattle have no green pasture to graze upon. Undoubtedly, all the aforementioned limit man's access to balanced diet and nourishment which is essential for good health.
2. Natural disasters
Rising sea levels as a result of global warming leads to flooding that may result in loss of lives or destroy houses rendering several families homeless or even destroy farmlands and deprive many of a source of livelihood. Furthermore, tornadoes, hurricanes and wild fires are more in the setting of global warming Also, displaced families are subjected to untold psychological trauma and exposed to various kinds of disease.
Basic health tips
1. Stay hydrated always
With the current hot weather, the rate of insensible water loss from the skin and mucous membranes has escalated and there is a greater tendency to get dehydrated which is bad for your kidneys. Hence, to stay healthy at this period, you need to up your fluid intake taking at least 8 glasses of clean water everyday.
2. Avoid excessive exposure to the sun
Now is the time to avoid staying outside than necessary under the heat of the sun in order to prevent sunburns or heat stroke. If you must remain under the sun for so long, then help yourself with a portable umbrella.
3. Get more exercise and take a shower
When you get enough exercise, the sweat from your skin cools off your body as it evaporates. You can quickly follow this up by taking a shower.
4. Help yourself to a fan
Hand fans and rechargeable fans appear to be in high demand of late probably because of the epileptic power supply that seems to have rendered conventional fans less useful.
5. Wear light clothes
During this hot period, you will feel a lot more comfortable in light clothing. And you may want to avoid black nylon clothings (especially for your kids) as they tend to absorb and retain more heat leading to heat rashes.
6. Avoid Oily Creams
Lastly, avoid the use of oily creams as they may make you feel hot and uncomfortable in this hot season. You may opt for lotions instead.
Image credit: www.psysr-climatetoolkit.org