Impact of Climate Change on Human Health

The purpose of this literature review is to give an overview of the causes of climate changes and to focus on how these changes affect humans health and the living quality. The concern about health implication due to climate changes has been increasing in the world and more closely here in our cities and communities. While climate changes have many factors associated with the cause, one primary cause of climate changes is human activities. Humans have released many carbon dioxides into the environment causing many health issues. The health of many individuals has been affected by these climate changes due to the high rise in temperature causing heat waves in many cities. Furthermore, Flooding, water-related infection, outdoor air quality are all influenced by climate changes. Extreme weather is a significant cause of climate changes such as hurricanes and heavy storms which have lead to, many mental health issues. Individuals have lost their loved ones and their homes due to these extreme weather events. Therefore to protect the quality of life in our environments humans need to come up with a comprehensive climate control protection strategy that will reduce climate changes.


Human activities and the expansion of greenhouse gases is one of the primary causes of climate changes today. The earth temperature can increase dramatically when climate changes occur. Some changes could be more floods, intense rain, droughts and more frequent heat waves (Barry & Chorley, 2010). Furthermore, Climate changes have also affected oceans and glaciers. Ocean across the globe are becoming warmer and more acidic. Glaciers are melting, and the sea level is rising. As these changes continue to occur in our world and more specifically our cities, it will present many challenges to our environment and society. Humans have released an enormous amount of carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases into the earth atmosphere (McMichael, Woodruff and Hales, 2016).

The vast majority of these gases comes from burning fossil fuels to produce energy. Greenhouse gases have affected the environment in many ways; for example, greenhouse gases are like a big blanket that is in the sky around the earth, trapping energy and causing the earth to be warm. These greenhouse gases have a large and dangers effect to humans health. A warmer climate can have many effects on our ecosystem and environment. For example our water supplies, power transportation system, natural environment and even most importantly our health and safety. Most of these climate changes have affected human health by many factors; for example, it has affected the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the weather we experience (McMichael et al., 2016).

The health risk caused by climate changes depend on public health, communities, and cities to address and to prepare. Most climate changes will vary depending on where individual lives and many more factors like how much people are exposed to these changes. Communities with low socioeconomic status are more vulnerable to climate changes. Places like the city of Oakland and Alameda County also face an increased risk of climate changes (Haines et al., 2016). Some of the climate changes have impacted Alameda county includes, Floods caused by the rise and increasing sea level, Water shortage, wildfires, communities affected by heat waves and warmer temperature (Patz et al., 2015). These impacts allow many diseases to spread and heat exhaustion and strokes. Even though some might argue that climate changes are unavoidable and there is nothing that could be done about it. However, to protect the quality of life in our environment and communities, we need to come up with a comprehensive climate control protection strategy that will reduce climate changes.                                                              


Using the California State University library database and google scholar to collect and search for peer-reviewed articles, scholarly medical journals, and government websites; to identify the primary cause of climate changes and its effect on human health. Besides, the goal was to find proper solution and action, the city of Oakland needs to take or adapt to these climate changes. All articles used in the research was peer-reviewed articles and less than ten years old. Most of the studies were in the United States. All of the articles are reliable and relevant to the resource prompt. The research strategy began with a brainstorm then finding peer-reviewed articles from the university database and google scholar. After preparing the free write, and focusing on the research question. The last step was to develop an outline and starts on the primary research. The keywords that were used in this research paper was climate change, global warming, greenhouse emission, carbon dioxide, human health UV radiation.

Literature review

Global warming has taken a considerable effect in the world in the past centuries. The earth goes into cycles from water levels, the temperature to even level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Planet earth temperature has increased fast in the past years, and people are continuing to burn fossil fuel causing many harmful greenhouses gases (Pielke et al., 2012). This greenhouse emission has a significant influence on the earth atmosphere like Carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane. The earth ocean absorbs only 70 percent of the light and land and 30 percent if reflected due to bright surfaces like ice and clouds (Pielke et al., 2012). Planet earth is like a human body if we do not take care of our body through exercise, eating healthy we become unhealthy and develope many health problems. As for our plant, if we do not take care of it and try to keep it healthy by reducing carbon emission, it will get warmer and cause many harmful health problems to people. The majority of the earth’s energy comes from fossil fuel being burned which will eventually release carbon dioxide into the air. These changes may take years to be physically noticed. The major environmental problems will range from global temperature rising, increasing sea level, melting of icecaps and glaciers and many other harmful effects that have the potential to affect humans (Zepp et al., 2011). Many of these problems have to lead to significant health problems and the standards of living.

Climate changes have significantly harmed the health of many people in our communities and around the world. Many of these health issues are here in our communities. There are many examples of how Climate changes have a significant impact on Human Health. For example, extreme heat waves which are caused by rising temperature which leads to an increase in health-related death and illness (McMichael et al., 2016). In 2016 a record of 178 million people more was exposed to heat waves compared to people from 1987- 2009 (Barry & Chorley, 2010). Many other problems could occur to extreme exposure to heat which can lead to dehydration, cardiovascular, respiratory disease and most severely heath strokes. On the other hand, we have Floods which is the rising of the sea level causing hurricanes, and threatening events ; In addition to many health problems before and after these events. In many regions, the impact of floods could threaten human health through the spread of many diseases and food poisoning. Another significant effect of climate changes is the impact on people with mental health. Any changes to individual physical health such as their surroundings and their environment could also severely impact a person psychological health. For example, experiencing extreme weather events such as hurricanes or a massive storm have caused many people to lose their homes and their loved ones (Patz et al., 2015).

Across the United States, the cause of climate change has affected marine and freshwater resources. These effects include water contamination caused by many bacteria and viruses pathogens. Exposure to these bacteria and viral pathogens is through inhalation, ingestion or even through direct contact with the contaminated water. Most of these pathogens are born by the change of temperature and extreme and seasonal weather patterns. Water born virus and bacterias cause acute gastrointestinal which affect about 20 million people annually in the United States (Barry & Chorley, 2010). While the rising temperature mostly influences 96 percents of waterborne pathogens and illness in the United States due to climate change to some degree (Barry & Chorley, 2010). Furthermore, People that are more vulnerable to health risk due to climate changes vary from specific geographic location. Low-income communities, immigrants, and individual with limited English proficiency face different vulnerabilities due to their medical conditions and institutional factors (Haines et al., 2016).

Climate changes have impacted Oakland and Alameda County, and these impact will continue to grow and affect the quality of life in Oakland. Some of these impacts include floods that are currently rising from sea level and storms forces that impact local infrastructure and buildings (Bulkeley and Betsill 2013). Additionally the shortage of water in the summer droughts that will significantly have an impact mostly on agriculture and residents. Furthermore air quality from a warmer temperature that causes increased rates of heat exhaustion and strokes and is a leading cause of Asuma and respiratory problems in children in Alameda County (Pielke et al., 2012). Other factors include the increased risk of wildfires that occur due to drier air conditions. Many of these health effects due to climate change will also have an enormous impact to the local economy,  which includes the increase of using energy to use air conditioning, as well as the loss of agricultural productivity. Many of these climates change effects will also have an excessive impact on individuals from low socioeconomic status or underprivileged communities in the city of Oakland (Zepp et al., 2011).

The city of Oakland should be able to recognize there is a problem first then take the appropriate action. Alameda County needs to take action to protect climate and communities to protect the quality of life. The county needs to develop a complete Climate protection strategy. This plan should include developing a blueprint that should meet the greenhouses gas reduction goals. Furthermore, the city should recommend that the county should promote energy saving as well as use clean alternative energy (Haines et al., 2016). Most importantly the city should create a transport plane with the intention of reducing the number of vehicles on the streets. Encouraging the use of carpooling could have the potential to reduce car emission. The city and county should be the first in line to fight climate changes. Many of these changes will improve water and air quality as wells as creating jobs, save money and most importantly improve public health and enhance the quality of living

While climate changes bring many effects to the human health and the environments, it has some potential strength as well. Some strength of climate changes includes creating jobs. The solar industry approximately had created more than 16,000 jobs in 2007. According to Barry & Chorley (2010), by 2025 the nation will be using 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources and would create more than 30,000 jobs in the United States. Another positive effect of climate changes is it has the potential to help farmers and plant growth. As carbon dioxide reaches a higher level in our atmosphere, it would help photosynthesis, which in turn contributes to increased plant growth. The latter corresponds to a higher amount of food production as well as having better quality food.


Climate changes cause many health issues; however, some are are critical and some not. For example, Many individuals have been exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation with the increase of the temperature.Many of these individuals have developed or at risk of developing skin cancer. The increasing exposure to toxic chemicals that are being released into the environment is suspected to cause many types of cancer as well. (McMichael et al., 2016). Measures that could be taken to approach these issue is to find a solution to reduce toxic air pollutant is by lowering vehicle miles travel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, another issue that is caused by climate changes is the radiation of the sun and affecting employees that are working in hot fields for long hours. therefore, companies that have such employees should have a safety action plan that encourages the use of sunscreen, and the use of proper clothing to cover from the sun. The latter will help reduce the risk of skin cancer and other types of cancer caused by the increase of UV radiation from the sun. If individuals, companies, and government all contribute to control global warming and climate changes, This planet will be much colder, and the high temperature will decrease.


In conclusion, government, corporation or humankind as a whole needs to take the proper steps that are necessary to prevent climate changes from happening. If nothing is done to decrease climate changes, the earth temperature will continue to rise, and the increase of many health issues and most living things will be extinct. To protect the quality of life in our environments, we need to come up with a comprehensive climate control protection strategy that will reduce climate changes and gas emissions by limiting power plant pollution. Every individual living on this planet needs to contribute and take care of this plant as if it was their own body. Many things could be done to prevent or adapt to the changes. Such as giving early warning signs through mobile devices for heat waves and other severe events (Barry & Chorley, 2010). Humankind needs to understand the danger of climate changes and the risk it carries to the human health to take the proper steps and, work together to reduce the risk of global warming.


Barry, R. G., & Chorley, R. J. (2010). The atmosphere, weather, and climate. Routledge.

Bulkeley, H., & Betsill, M. M. (2013). Cities and climate changes. London: Routledge.

Haines, A., Kovats, R. S., Campbell-Lendrum, D., & Corvalan, C. (2016, July). Climate change and human healthImpacts, vulnerability, and public health. Retrieved from

McMichael, A. J., Woodruff, R. E., & Hales, S. (2016, March 11). Climate change and    humahealt Present and future risks. Retrieved from

Patz, J. A., Campbell-Lend rum, D., Holloway, T., & Foley, J. A. (2015, November 17). Impact of regional climate change on human health. Retrieved from

Pielke, R. A., Marland, G., Betts, R. A., Chase, T. N., Eastman, J. L., Niles, J. O., Running, S. W. (2012, August 15). The influence of land-use change and landscape dynamics on the climate system: Relevance to climate-change policy beyond the radioactive effect of greenhouse gases.

Zepp, R. G., Erickson, 3. R., Paul, N. D., & Sulzberger, B. (2011, February). Effects of solar UV radiation and climate change on biogeochemical cycling: Interactions and feedbacks. Retrieved from

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