Health Impacts of Climate Change and Potential Solutions

During the pandemic quarantine, I was given the time and chance to explore topics I am interested in. Climate Change and how it shapes our future is one of the things I seek to explore and study more about. Therefore, I enrolled in an audit online course by Harvard  University on EDx on the health impacts of climate change. It was my first time enrolling in an online course by a university, but the experience was priceless. I could study from the best resources including research papers from experts, visual graphs of interesting data and statistics, the discussion videos of the professors and experts at the field, and many others. Upon finishing the course, I wrote an informative essay, using the knowledge I gained from the course as well as further research, in the hope to raise more awareness about this global emergency and powerful solutions humanity needs to focus on. 

The Health Impacts of the Climate Crisis and Potential Solutions


         “Health is the human face of climate change.” said Michelle Williams from the Harvard School of Public Health. Many understand climate change predominantly from only the environmental perspective, leaving out another indispensable effect of the climate crisis: human health. Intense greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic sources result in many devastating consequences including sea-level rise and heat rise on land, increased droughts, floods, and extreme weather along with changes in precipitation and more. These unprecedented changes to the environment are triggers to many harmful health risks and diseases that will reverberate globally. The main health risks include those that are caused by heat, air quality, infectious diseases, nutritional diseases and deficiencies, and complications caused by migration.

         Climate Change is a global emergency that threatens the well-being of humanity through its many health impacts, and it depends on our actions to divert this fateful path.

          The first category of health risks induced by the climate crisis is those that are caused by heat, mainly heat strokes and heat exhaustion. The risks vary by different combinations of heat and precipitation levels. The more heat and precipitation, the higher the risks. Here is the heat index and its health risks in each condition. 

Heat Index
Figure courtesy of NOAA and the US National Weather Service.

The most vulnerable populations to heat-related illnesses include outdoor workers, people with heart failures and diabetes, people who are obese, elders, and pre-pubertal children due to their incapability to shed excess heat well.           To further understand how we can reduce heat-related illnesses, we should find it’s main causes. One of the major components that contribute to warming temperatures is the urban heat island — meaning when the temperature in the city region is much higher than the temperature of the rural areas around it. As urbanization increases, so does warming and pollution. Cities are more likely to be hotter than their surroundings due to how they are built with mostly grey asphalt roads and dark roofs (which absorb heat better than white or green surfaces). Actions that are taken to reduce urban heat islands will not only reduce climate change, but will also directly impact many people’s health as well.

Here are the most environmental-friendly cities in Europe
© Travel Daily Media, “Here are the most environmental-friendly cities in Europe” by Kristin Mariano

 One of the most effective ways to decrease heat-related illnesses is to redesign urban environments so they absorb less heat. Some ways are through mandating and encouraging more green buildings and households, planting more trees and vegetations — perhaps through green roofs and hydroponics which are the most efficient methods for urban environments due to small-space requirement and other benefits –, increasing reflective surfaces by using cool roofs, and other energy-efficient appliances and technologies [2]. These alternatives to the conventional infrastructures won’t only help to decrease heat and pollution in the city and increase sustainability and development in cities, but they can also directly benefit the economy, health and well-being of the residents as well. For instance, a report named “The Rise of Green Buildings”[3] from the Economist confirms that “Going green (in buildings) saves money by reducing energy and maintenance costs, and may boost productivity.”

The second component of health impacts caused by the climate crisis is those that are caused by air pollution including Asthma and other chronic respiratory diseases and pollen-allergies. Increased temperature can lead to an increase in ground-level ozone, a highly irritating gas that forms just above the Earth’s surface[4] which can cause inflammation in the airway and damage lung tissue[5]. Furthermore, the increase of carbon dioxide increases pollen output in ragweed plants, which is a big contributor to seasonal allergies,  while also lengthening its pollinating season. Additionally, as climate change increases the severity and frequency of droughts and heatwaves, the conditions that trigger wildfires also increase. Wildfires, without even mentioning the health effects, are destructive phenomena — affecting air, water sources and drinking water quality, while destroying countless precious wildlife species. But if we look even more closely, the smoke of burned fires includes many toxic chemicals that are dangerous for human health, including acrolein (a lung irritant), carbon monoxide (which can be fatal at high concentrations),  formaldehyde, and benzene or PAHs (all of which can cause cancer). According to the World Health Organization, volcanic activities and wildfires affected 6.2 million people and caused 2400 deaths worldwide in the period of 19 years from 1998 to 2017 [6]. These particulate matters, which are “all solid and liquid particles suspended in the air many of which are hazardous that includes dust, liquid droplets, pollen smoke and more”[7], are contributed mostly by combustion of fossil fuels (mostly coal and diesel). The different sectors that contribute to more particulate matter globally include traffic for 25%, industry for 18%, domestic Fuel for 15%, other human sources for 20%, and natural sources for 22%, according to a research paper titled “Contributions to cities’ ambient particulate matter” by Federico  Karagulian and others from Science Direct[8]. 

Because transportation accounts for so much of the pollution, we can all help to reduce our contribution by using transportation very consciously. Using a bike or walking whenever possible won’t only help to reduce your carbon footprint and help to save lives by not polluting the air, but you will also improve your health and reduce your risks of obesity, heart diseases, and more health complications. Moreover, by choosing to carpool or take public transportation, using energy-efficient appliances, and using electricity consciously, you will save your household’s expenses as well as making a difference to this global crisis. 

          Another interesting impact that the climate crisis puts into the pool of its many other dangerous health effects is the increase of infectious diseases. The risks of both waterborne and vector-borne diseases will be increased by pollution and the changes in weather patterns. An example of waterborne risk is the toxic algae bloom which, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US, is “simple plants that live in the sea and freshwater that grow out of control and produce toxic or harmful effects on people and many marine species” [9].

Harmful algae blooms (HABs) found in 3 New York City parks - CNN
© CNN: “Toxic algae: What you need to look out for 01:13” from Dog-killing toxic algae discovered in 3 New York City parks by Susan Scutti

Although rare, these toxins can cause fatal illnesses including headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and numbness or tingling if ingested. These toxic algae blooms are triggered by nitrogen from fertilizers and livestock that flow into the water sources, the increase in water temperature, as well as extreme weather events including hurricanes droughts or floods. Despite waterborne illness, climate change also increases the risks of vector-borne diseases, especially malaria. Warmer temperature will be a  sweet spot for mosquitos development until it is too warm and is lethal to them. Because different species of mosquitoes adapt and thrive in different ranges of temperatures, it’s complicated to project the increased risks of malaria. According to an article about Climate Change and Malaria on the UN chronicle, written by S.D Fernando, a professor at the Department of Parasitology at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, “Variation in climatic conditions, such as temperature, rainfall patterns, and humidity, has a profound effect on the longevity of the mosquito and the development of malaria parasites in the mosquito and, subsequently, on malaria transmission”[10]. 

Despite the increased risks of both waterborne and vector borne diseases, we can take preemptive actions by reducing the use of toxic pesticides, better managing livestock waste and wetlands, eliminating habitats of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, and continue other proven strategies to combat these diseases like sleeping in nets. Although climate change is creating a stack of obstacles before us, we still have all of the power and chance to combat these diseases. 

          When we think about climate change, we often do not know that, in addition to the many above health effects, it also will affect crop yields and alter the nutritional composition of our foods as well. This means the climate crisis threatens the world’s food security by decreasing crop yields as well as its essential nutrients.

Poland's corn production plunges | 2018-11-21 | World Grain
© Poland’s corn production plunges | 2018-11-21 | World Grain

As discussed in the above paragraph about air pollution and its contribution to respiratory diseases, more heat produces more ground-level ozone which can also impair plant growth and damage leaves. To illustrate more on this ramification of the climate crisis, an article on the World’s Economic Forum written by Zongbo Shi from the Birmingham University wrote: “Pollution from soot and ozone has caused a major decrease of crop yields in India, with some densely populated states experiencing 50% relative yield losses.” [11]  

This means that crop yields are going to boost if the ground-level ozone is decreased. According to the Harvard Course on Climate Change impacts on health, today, ozone toxicity has been estimated to kill enough crops in India to feed 94 million people. In China, the loss of agricultural productivity costs $250 billion per year which equates to about 20% of total agricultural revenue for the nation. [1] In addition, other threats caused by climate change including heavier downpours that will lead to floods, heat, and droughts as well as sea-level rise and salinization of coastal aquifers are all critical factors that will severely affect agriculture in many places. According to a Nature’s research paper, extreme weather events contributed to about 10% loss of agricultural production globally in 43 years between 1964 and 2007. [12] 

          Besides decreasing crop-yields, more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere also means fewer nutrients on your plate. To enhance your understanding on the relationship between CO2 and nutritions, Kristie Ebi from the center of Health and Global Environment put it best during her TED talk: “that plants, when they have higher carbon dioxide, increase the synthesis of carbohydrates, sugars, and starches, and they decrease the concentrations of protein and critical nutrients. And this is very important for how we think about food security going forward. ” [13]

Kristie Ebi: How climate change could make our food less ...
© TED Talks | How climate change could make our food less nutritious

According to her talk and other studies, climate change decreases the essential nutrients and vitamins including protein (a critical energy provider, immune health bolster and helps to maintain and grow tissues), zinc (critical for the immune system and needed for the sense of smell and taste, leading to lack of appetite if lacked), iron (important for metabolic processes, especially the transport of oxygen in the red blood cells) and the B vitamins (converting food into energy) which will increase deficiencies and associated health risks globally. According to the World Health Organization, 1.4% -1.5% (0.8 million) deaths are attributable to zinc and iron deficiency worldwide. [14]  In addition, “there are about 1 billion people who are zinc-deficient” according to Kristie. 

Furthermore, climate change is also leaving immense effects on fisheries. Anthropogenic impacts on the ocean including overfishing along with the effects of climate change including ocean acidification and the loss of corals are huge menaces to the fisheries industry, leading to shifts of diets to more caloric and highly processed foods for coastal residents [1]. This significant impact of the climate crisis on our very plates is especially concerning, considering how much of the world’s population right now is already facing this immense diet-related problem of starvation, deficiencies as well as obesity.

In order to ensure our food security is stable for the future generation, the world needs to limit, if not prevent, the release of more CO2 in the atmosphere or create technologies to plant crops protected from the emissions of this gas. 

          Lastly, all of the effects of climate change including food insecurity, sea-level rise, salinization, water shortage, and many other extreme weather events are forcing many climate-refugees out of their homes. In some cases, like in the Syrian Civil War, climate change is an underlying factor that can intensify situations and leads to migration.

The Great Climate Migration Has Begun - The New York Times
© Meridith Kohut from New York Times article: “THE GREAT CLIMATE MIGRATION”

These refugees who must move against their will surely face tremendous amounts of hardships and health effects, ranging from mental health issues including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression or anxiety, as well as physical illnesses including deficiencies, and pollution exposure. Moreover, most refugee camps lack access to clean water and basic sanitation which can trigger an array of illnesses. Despite these hardships, climate refugees aren’t considered as refugees defined by the official definition by the UN, depriving them of the privileges other refugees have. 

The most efficient way to reduce climate-refugees is to invest more in climate resilience in vulnerable communities which include small islands in the Pacific and other oceans that are vulnerable including Kiribati, Tuvalu, and others, least developed countries in Africa or Asia, coastal cities and more. 

         A global crisis calls for global actions. In these past several years, more and more people are exposed to more awareness of climate change and how they can act to help prevent further extreme events and mitigate the effects of our pollution. Organizations, private companies, and academic institutions have been joining hands to accelerate research and framework for actions and policies to be adopted in places needed. Different facilities have different responsibilities to complete their roles in this crisis. 

Academic Institutions need to actively educate students on important data and statistics that are needed for actions to take place. Such data includes the causes of climate change and its impacts on the economy, environment, health, and more, as well as proven plans and frameworks for actions that can be taken to reduce them. However, the subjects that students need to know to effectively understand the problems and take action go beyond just climate science. Students also need to learn about psychology, anthropology, and sociology to understand how social and cultural norms along with the way humans think can affect this problem. 

Furthermore, we also need more experts and scientists who research more scientific evidence and create groundbreaking technology to help solve this global problem. To see more studies and research, we need to encourage more investment from governments, organizations, and private corporations in this field. By finding new ways to partner with the public and the private sector (including Google or Facebook), academic institutions can accelerate the movement of knowledge generated within themselves to the rest of society. Without bridging the knowledge, data, and insights from research facilities like universities to other organizations in other sectors, we can’t effectively implement changes in our society.

 Actions should also be focused on the places that contribute most to the problem, especially cities. Cities account for about 2/3 of global energy consumption and 70% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The most densely populated cities the world: Mumbai, India tops list
© | The most densely populated cities the world: Mumbai, India tops list

To intensify the problem, in 2050, it is estimated that 68% of the people will be living in urban areas. It’s crucial for the government in the cities, especially their leaders, to focus their attention on working to solve climate-related problems for their residents because they are the closest and can see closely the problems that they are suffering from the effects of climate change. 

Another important aspect of climate change action is financial needs and aids. This is when big bank facilities, like the World Bank, need to come to place. The financial need to assist climate change adaptation demands between 30 billion to 300 billion US dollars by 2050. [15] Given this immense financial need, the world bank and wealthy countries can invest more in financial aid for vulnerable countries in need. 

The call for action especially needs to be taken into account in the individual level. 

While these big corporations and governments have huge responsibilities to take care of, we, as individuals and responsible citizens, share this obligation to create a hopeful future for our children and their children. We need to be constantly conscious of the irreversible impacts we leave on this planet and take the responsibility to commit to reducing those impacts. We need to be on the right side of history, and the only way you can do that is to act now and encourage others to do the same. The biggest problem to change is that we believe that others will carry the responsibility to change or that others will save the planet for us. However, do we even have a choice to neglect the responsibility to take action when our planet is in a stage of a crisis? I believe that we don’t have a choice when it comes to an emergency as immense as this global climate crisis. We must educate ourselves, spread awareness, fight for change, and act now before it is too late. Every small action is your choice, and it’s important to understand the worth of those every small contribution you can make.  The fate of the future is on our hands, and how it unfolds depends on how we choose to write it now. 


Here is the pdf document of this essay: Health Impacts of Climate Change Essay. 


How To Be Happy When You Lose a Loved-One

How to be Happy when You Lose a Loved-One 

By: Angely Rose

From: Tara Magalski

Losing someone you love is one of the most painful tragedies a person can encounter, whether that someone is your dearest teacher, friend, family member, life partner or colleagues. All individuals on Earth must have gone through this problem at least once in their life. When experiencing loss, it doesn’t always mean death, but also personal departures and other circumstances that take away our loved ones. This problem is one of the major problems that most people encounter because it can cause many mental health problems including depression, stress, and many more. It makes studying, working or just living hard and painful. So, how can we cope with those emotions after losing our loved one? How do we learn to take steps towards a new life? It might seem hard at first, but consider these following steps to help you and do not forget to stay COMMITTED throughout this whole journey to a new beautiful life.

All of the Steps to Help you to be Happy Again:

Self Awareness

First of all, we need to learn how to be self-aware. In this step, you can take a deep breath and learn to accept all of the truths about yourself and the situation. It’s totally normal to feel sad, just allow your emotions to come out because it is also an important part of being aware of your emotions and how to control it. During this step, it is important to keep out all of the accusations (either it is self-accusations or accusations for other people). Thinking about our or someone else’s fault is not going to help you to get that person back, so learn to keep out regrets and accusations out of your beautiful mind! Life is a maze with many different possibilities, the ones that we chose and the one we have never entered. This leaves us with the ‘What-ifs’ or the “If onlys”. But those thoughts only bring us pain and regrets which brings us nowhere. Life is full of everybody coming and leaving, so just let it be and learn to accept it (even though I know it is hard).

Expressing and Controlling Your Emotion

Grief is a hard process, so expressing your feelings is an extremely helpful way to help you cope with it. You can express your feelings through many different ways. The way that I suggest the most is writing your feelings down, in a diary or your personal journal. Writing is one of the best ways to express your emotions because you can release all of the details out on the paper which can be a good way for you to reflect back on the situation later. Sometimes, when you read that later, your perspective towards the situation might change a lot and it helps you to see how you were, how much you have improved, and how far you have come.

Another way of expressing ourselves is through verbal communication. You can find people whom you can trust or can relate to the topic the most to talk to and to let them help you. After you release all of your emotions, you are going to feel much better. Whew! On the other hand,  if you just let the feelings and emotions eat you up inside and just hide it, I can assure you the situation can be worse because those negative feelings are really powerful. Don’t ever let them have control over you!

After that, you need to learn how to have control over your thoughts and emotions. I know that there might be a lot of negative feelings and thoughts after you lost someone. It is totally fine if you have them a lot at first, but you need to learn how to control it step by step. You need to learn not to let that pessimism overwhelms your mind. Try to take a step out of the darkness and another step into the light. One way of doing this is to try.  

Start to Work Towards Goals

Losing someone you love is extremely hard to cope and is time-consuming. It is a huge obstacle that holds you back from completing your goals in life. So, you need to restart working towards your goals or you can create a new list of goals. Grab a sheet of paper, write down a list of things you think you can do to help you start again. You can try putting things like being social active again, join more social events, find new hobbies or you can spend more time with your hobbies. Focus more on yourself, you can try setting more goals that can allow you to take care of yourselves. Create some me-time and allow yourselves to do the things that you like. Hobbies or interests can help you a lot better.

Look Back to the Positive Sunshine

After allowing enough time for you to be sad and to grieve, you can start to look back into the positive sides. Please remind yourself of how the person that left you would want you to be. They would want you to be happy and strong to continue the journey without them. They trust you to continue the journey with a smile, so please make that come true. Think about how far you have come and listen to the words that the person who left has told you. I can assure you that you will definitely meet other new people that mean so much to you in the same way. Just allow some time for yourself to come back.

Allow yourself to find a new light, new journey, new hopes, and new possibilities. Although you have lost someone important, you can still be strong and happy to continue your own life. Start planning what are you going to do next. What is your next step for your life? Make some changes, take some risks, try new things, find light to your world. Usually, new things can lead you to unexpected and amazing destinations.

Lastly, let the past be and START A NEW JOURNEY!

Here is a website you can visit for more information on the five main stages of grief.


Children Must Have The Right and Access to Education (Argumentative Essay)

Angely Rose                                                                                                                                      `12/12th/2018

Children Must Have The Right and Access to Education

There is a quote from Nelson Mandela who is the former president of South Africa: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. This quote is really true and that is the reason why all children deserve the right and access to quality education. Unfortunately, According to the United Nations Sustainable Development website, “Over 265 million children are currently out of school and 22% of them are of primary school age”. This statistic bespeaks that there is a huge amount of young children around the world who still need help getting a decent education. One of the main reasons for lack of quality education is that some developing countries are having the struggle to give every single child the access to quality tutoring due to poverty and other emergencies that the countries need to handle. Furthermore, the need for quality teaching caused by “the lack of well-trained tutors, inequality problems related to the opportunity provided to rural children and girls, and the impoverished conditions of schools ”(United Nations). However, I firmly consider education as a prominent right that all children must have.  Although education requires a lot of money and time, every single child that is in the age of going to school must have access to and the right to education. Education for a young child is extremely crucial for empowering individuals and help them to reach their best potential, reducing poverty, and benefits of future economic growth.

Although education depends heavily upon inclusive finance, offering education to the young generation can reduce poverty in the impoverished community. To demonstrate, in many developing countries, poverty is one of the main problems that people are dealing with. Poverty is the state of extreme sufficient in the financial field. The problem is that the shortage of money can affect and lead to other problems including low access to education, clean water, and nutrition, hunger, etc. However, by offering adequate tutoring to children, it can reduce poverty and give many benefits to our society in nearly all aspects which is the key to sustainable development. Villa Kulid, Director General of Norad, gave a speech about education and how it can help to reduce poverty as well as other problems. He observes that “One year of education is associated with a 10% increase in wages”. (Kulid) This fact shows that education has a huge power to enlarge the wages of the workers. Education can boost incomes for citizens and giving the consequence of dwindled poverty.  Furthermore,“A newly published paper by UNESCO shows that education is critical to escape chronic poverty and to prevent the transmission of poverty between generations.”, as demonstrated by Kulid’s speech. This statement has indicated that education is a major factor to decrease poverty in different generations and communities. Education has the power to let individuals find their potential and help their community, boosting incomes and decrease poverty.

Another reason that explains why education is essential to us is that it is a considerable factor that can help to determine how blooming the economy of a country is.  Investopedia, which is an international website edited by writers who are financial experts and advisors since 1999, also discusses education impact on the economy. Investopedia observes that “globalization and international trades depend upon the competitive economy between countries. Therefore, each country needs to have a buoyant economy that is supported by decent education.” Brent Redcliff, who has years of experiences in digital marketing, analytics, a freelance writer for Investopedia and currently works as an analytic manager in Accenture, wrote an article titled, “How Education And Training Affect the Economy” that was published in March 2018. Brent Redcliff wrote that a “resilient economy has the capability of operating different industries that can compete with international standards. To meet this standard, we need a lot of scholars who possess the skills and knowledge to build a powerful workforce. What’s more, it also helps with employment within the country as well. In fact, the employment rates in different countries are based on the education levels of their citizens” (, 2018). In conclusion, education is needed in order to create a prosperous economy in a country.

What is even more important than helping to boost the economy and lower the poverty rates, education can leave remarkable impacts on each individual life of those young children. By delivering education access to children, it gives them a huge opportunity to find their potential, dreams, passions, and talents which they will live upon and pursue further throughout their lives. To put it in another way, Education has the capability of empowering individuals and gives them the chance to reach their greatest potential which can help to reduce inequality in society. After they found out their passions and talents, they can pursue a career that can further support their communities and countries. A great example of that is a Pakistani teacher named Mohammud Ayub that has committed his life teaching other people the basic subjects including math, English, etc. He is a Pakistani scholar that used his knowledge that he had gained to spread and help his community back. He has made a big difference in each student’s life that he taught and the community around him. (Associated Press and Newsela Staff) In addition, the process of education that includes many subjects including Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will give guidance for student’s passion, prepare them for obstacles and improve student’s critical thinking skills. In, UChicago professor says that “STEM help to prepare students for the future that awaits. Education in schools is imperative for children to find their passions, potentials, and talents which can reduce inequality and lead to sustainable developments in communities.”

In conclusion, Education for children is an essential field for development in each country though it requires money and time. In addition, it helps to reduce inequality, poverty, boost the prosperity of the economy, and empowers those individual children who are educated to help their community and society back. By offering the right and access to quality education for children, it is a huge profit for everyone in nearly all aspects, including the community, country, family, and individuals. Therefore, the right and access to quality education is exceedingly an important right that every and single child around the globe deserve to have in spite of any conditions or situations that they are under. There are a lot of works to be done in order to help all children in the world to gain access to quality education

Works Cited:

4 Quality 12/7/2018

Associated Press and Newsela staff, “Pakistani man teaches poor kids in a park, keeps promise to his dying dad.” 03/27/2015. 12/7/2018

Brent, Radcliffe, “How Education and Training Affect the Dec 5, 2018. 12/7/2018

How STEM education can help Hong Kong children to live their dreams Friday, 20 July 2018. 12/7/2018–taking-a-global-lead/

Villa, Kulid, “Role of Education in ending extreme poverty – Taking a global   11.11.2014. 12/7/2018