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Extreme Weather, Natural Disasters And Health – What You Need To Know!
Research suggests that changes in the Earth’s climate could be contributing to an increased number of natural disasters around the world. The atmosphere is very complicated, and changes to its composition and increases or decreases in temperature can have quite profound effects.
Most of the major types of disasters mentioned above fit into a category called “high-precipitation disasters.” But other changes in the climate can contribute to “low-precipitation” events, such as drought, heatwaves and wild fires, which pose obvious health and safety risks. Temperature increases leading to lower levels of rain could also cause crops to fail, leading to food shortages and subsequent malnutrition.
Finally, rising sea levels can put low-lying areas at risk for flooding and cause drowning and the destruction of infrastructure. This, of course, increases the risk of disease outbreaks afterward, as mentioned above.
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Climatologists, public health officials and disaster relief personnel around the world need to be working closely together, as there’s a degree of overlap between their fields. As is the case with ordinary disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Advances in meteorology and other fields of climate science will help scientists predict the onset of extreme weather events and natural disasters with greater accuracy and help minimize injury and loss of life.
There’s already a precedent for this: improved communication systems and public education about what to do the event of tornados have helped dramatically reduce the number of deaths from this type of storm. Educating the public, preparing emergency protocols, setting aside resources in advance and maintaining scientific vigilance are the best defenses against the health risks associated with extreme weather.