Climate change in the UK such as frequent heatwaves and floods cause long term health damage to a wide population. According to a recent study, these extremely harsh weather changes affected the mental health of millions of individuals in the UK.
The report also mentioned that the heat waves are the main culprit behind causing serious health problems with people having underlying health conditions. Individuals living with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and blood pressure suffer the most from this climate change.
Data shows that deaths related to health problems among 65-year-old individuals increased 21 % from 2004-2018. Previously in 2018, the heatwave caused 8,500 deaths related to different health issues. Also, the heatwaves are extremely disastrous for the environment as they accelerate greenhouse gas emissions by 30 times.
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Recently, frequent flooding also increased in the UK along with the heatwaves. Nearly 1.8 million individuals are inhabitants of high flood risk areas in the UK. Also, experts predict that the number will rise to 2.6 million by the year 2050.
Frequent flooding due to extreme weather conditions led to poor mental health among people. Data shows that nearly one out of three individuals suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after floods. Also, the flood victims are at higher risk of mental health issues by at least four times as compared to other people. These mental health conditions include PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
The only solution to decrease these health risks in the UK is effective measures to improve the weather conditions. Greenhouse gas emissions are a huge contributor to climate change. Collective efforts at the government level can significantly lower the risk of floods and heatwaves in the future.
Health and climate experts suggest that the government of the UK take action to implement a zero-carbon emission transport system. This system will help sustain our environment and provide cleaner air. Also, this initiative will lower the risk of health problems, natural disasters and create jobs and opportunities for people.
Clean air and a healthy environment will also lower the health costs in the country. According to the experts, the UK can save £2.1 billion from health costs if every individual gets access to a healthy environment such as green spaces.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the attention of all leaders and governments shifted towards the virus. Meanwhile, the issue of climate change somewhat went under the radar for some time. Even though the pandemic is a huge challenge to the world right now, an irreversible global climate change can prove disastrous for everyone.
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Various movements over the past few years helped grab the attention of the world leaders towards the growing issue of extreme weather conditions. These issues not only cause financial problems but also leave several health issues behind.
The frequent heatwaves in the UK over the past years caused several deaths in the country among people with compromised health. Millions of individuals in the country are at high risk of long term health conditions due to these extreme changes. Therefore, solid measures are the need of the hour to prevent such disasters from happening in the future.