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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] Climate Change and Global Health - South Korea

by Soyeon Cho | 22-04-2019 01:07 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 1 recommendations



Climate change is one of the most serious issues today, connected to a multitude of other problems in the environment such as biodiversity loss, air and water pollution, global warming, and more. However, not only does it cause harm to the environment but also it impacts global health and therefore the individual health of humans. 

According to a keynote session I attended in Washington State featuring Ms. Kristie L. Ebi, the global health professor of the University of Washington, relations between global health and climate change are continually being explored today. Using the diagram attached by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, she explained, for example, that changes in vector ecology increased the chances of the contraction of diseases such as malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, and more (CDC). Vector biology studies the transmittance patterns for pathogens (by insects that interact with humans and bacteria/virus), and climate change can lead to changes in the movement trends for the pathogen-carrying insects. Also, the increased frequency of natural disasters and other extreme weather patterns such as excessive heat can cause injuries, fatalities, mental health impacts, heat-related failure and death, cardiovascular failure, cholera, and much more.

In the example of South Korea, the air pollution caused by the combustion of fossil fuels, among other factors, is a serious issue that is linked to climate change, with more extreme weather and rising CO2 levels. As explained in one of my past reports, in 2016, South Korea ranked 173rd out of 180 countries for air quality in the Environmental Performance Index. Also, as studies have shown that increased fine dust can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, including asthma. 

Another example, ocean acidification, can be linked to many nations around the world (or rather, their surrounding oceans). Ocean acidification results in decreasing pH in the seawater, in which more and more fish, corals, and plants cannot live in. This phenomenon is due to the specific pH at which they can continue their processes of homeostasis, or the maintenance of a stable equilibrium between the surroundings. Although it is difficult to quantify due to the involvement of other issues such as overfishing that explain declining fish supply (which then leads to malnutrition and diarrheal diseases), it is considered to be another example of how climate change does not just destroy the environment. 

The various consequences of climate change, ranging from  in allergens that people can react to or harbor allergies from to water pollution, can raise the frequency of conditions at which humans contract diseases and illnesses such as asthma and malaria. Therefore, to solve this global problem interconnected with a web of countless local examples in countries such as South Korea, we all need to address the source of all of these problems: climate change. Some steps that can be taken for this objective are: reducing fossil fuel consumption in transportation and waste disposal, opting disposable products for reusable ones, and using more eco-friendly alternatives for goods such as bottles and bags.

What’s more, it is essential voicing opinions regarding the use of highly pollution fossil fuels such as low-grade coal, and more!


“Impact of Climate Change on Human Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 22 Dec. 2014, www.cdc.gov/climateandhealth/effects/default.htm.

Oaks, S. C., and G. W. Pearson. “Vector Biology, Ecology, and Control.” Malaria: Obstacles and Opportunities, edited by V. S. Mitchell, National Academies Press (US), 1991, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234322/.

Impact of Climate Change on Global Health

6 Comments

Louis Mentor

  • Louis Mentor says :
    Hi Soyeon,

    Thank you for this detailed and thorough report on air pollution and I was highly impressed with your part where you talked about the air pollution in Korea. In fact, South Korea is heavily influenced by air pollution for a while and unfortunately the severity of this problem worsens every year. Many people are suffered because air pollution causes a lot of deadly diseases to our human body. Immediate actions should be taken and I am looking forward to see air pollution will get better in the future. Great work!

    Louis Mentor
    Posted 28-04-2019 17:59

Wonhee Mentor

  • Wonhee Mentor says :
    Hello Soyeon!

    Thank you for wonderful report! I really like how you connected the climate change issues with global health problems. I cannot agree with you more on the severity of air pollution in Korea and its impacts on human health. According to a recent research done by WTO, 4.2 million premature deaths are linked to air pollution. Thank you for pointing this very important issue! I look forward to your next report : )

    Wonhee Mentor
    Posted 26-04-2019 21:52

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello soyeon
    Various anaphylactic reaction and respiratory problems are resulted due to air pollution.
    Thank you so much for this report.
    Green cheers!
    Posted 24-04-2019 11:14

Yerdaulet Rakhmatulla

  • Yerdaulet Rakhmatulla says :
    This chart rocks! It's a great presentation for neutral position citizens to decide to become eco-friendly
    Posted 24-04-2019 01:50

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hi Soyeon,

    I trust you are well. Your report does put forth great points but what is the source of the problem is not climate change, the source of the problem is anthropogenic activities and the fact that the responsible authorities are not doing what they can to bring forth resolution that shifts people to rethink their actions. Sadly, we have reached this level of climate change where our health is being affected. But I agree that we need to voice our opinions about fossil fuels and other non-renewable energy.

    I thank you for this insightful report.
    Sincerely,
    Rosa
    Posted 22-04-2019 18:25

Arjun Anand

  • Arjun Anand says :
    That points to the importance of healthcare sustainblity
    Posted 22-04-2019 15:02

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