Former Vice-President of the United States and Nobel Laureate Al Gore on Wednesday drew an analogy between the challenges faced by cardiologists and those involved in assessing the health of the global ecological system, saying the role of the heart in beating regularly and distributing blood throughout the body is similar in some ways to the hydrological cycle of the earth.

He was speaking at the 20{+t}{+h} World Congress of the World Society of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons, here.

Mr. Gore said the reason for extreme highs of temperatures and unprecedented weather events was that the relation between human beings and the ecosystem of the earth had dramatically changed in a relatively short period. One of the key reasons that disrupted the balance was the dramatic increase in population, Mr. Gore said.

“We are beginning to see a great many consequences of this. This past summer, 19 countries have seen all-time highs in temperature. The period from January to August this year represents the hottest season ever measured,” the former Vice-President said, adding 2010 is on course to become the hottest year along with 2008.

From preliminary calculations, it could be said that the amount of rainfall had far exceeded what was seen or recorded in the past. There has been a once-in-a-1000-year rainfall. Droughts in Australia had also been severe, Mr. Gore said in his key thematic oration ‘Thinking Green.'

The occasion also doubled as the 6{+t}{+h} Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine, with the focus on cardiology and cardio thoracic surgery.

Afksendyios Kalangos, president, Global Forum on Humanitarian Medicine, said the conference, organised here by Dr. Cherian's Frontier Lifeline Hospital, would provide for a rich exchange of knowledge.

Stuart Jamieson, Chancellor, World Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, said the technology in the sector was changing rapidly and ideas would have to be incorporated without geographic landmarks.

K.M. Cherian, chairman, 20{+t}{+h} World Congress of WSCTS, said the need for humanitarian care would be showcased by the experiences of developing nations.

V.K. Subburaj, principal secretary, Health, listed the innovations in medical care that are being implemented by the government of Tamil Nadu.