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November 2022: The Neurological Perspective of Climate Change and Human Development

Updated: Mar 1, 2023

Defining Climate Change:

According to the United Nations, climate change refers to increased temperature in Earth’s atmosphere and meteorological patterns. This has been characterized by the increase in drought and hurricanes, extreme heat in many regions of the world such as the Tropics, and even summer floods in Europe.

Climate change and global warming are not a matter of politics or debate; it is occurring in our modern weather patterns, has drastically skyrocketed since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, and has been projected to worsen in the coming decades.

How Can Climate Change Affect Our Human Species?

Climate change and global warming are among the many myriad challenges currently faced by many populations. According to the EPA (The U.S Environmental Protection Agency), global warming will continue to be a threat to humanity as average temperatures and the occurrence of extreme heat will continue to drastically increase in the coming years ahead.

Extreme heat has negatively impacted many industries in many countries, the main ones being crucial: health and agriculture.

Multiple studies from the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), the World Bank, and the Harvard University Economics Department have shown that heat stress and extreme heat have led to a reduced ability to concentrate and shortened the amount of productivity among workers. This social, political, and economic issue has significantly impacted vulnerable communities, as they have less access to socioeconomic factors, such as a proper education, poorer housing, and declined access to healthcare, which especially impacts those in impoverished countries.

These workers also take a risk in the neurological effects of global warming and climate change, including hyperthermia, or overheating; heat strokes, and a decrease to vital activity from a chemical in our human bodies called superoxide dismutase (SOD), which can lead to abnormalities in the activity of neurotransmitters, and can result in Alzeimher’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and dementia.

Will Humankind Be Able to Combat the Threats of Climate Change & Global Warming?

The answer is yes! However, this is not, by any means, an overnight solution. Human activity has been the primary cause of climate change. According to the Climate Department of NASA, the stop to climate change will involve a two-tier approach of “mitigation,” or reducing the number of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere, and “adaptation.” In other words, adapting to the amount of global warming that has already been caused by human activity.

Finally, another approach would be utilizing geoengineering, a term commonly used for climate engineering that calls explicitly to reverse the amount of atmospheric damage caused by human activity. Therefore, continue to speak up and reduce wastewater for the protection of humanity and our future!

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