Climate Change Could Kill You – 7 of the Most Deadly Human Health Consequences of Global Warming

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—Why you should care about climate change? 7 ways it could kill you

1. Fluctuations in Weather Events

Heat waves, extreme storms and floods, and other severe fluctuations in weather events will directly impact human health—and it already is! If the heat waves experienced by many major cities in Africa, Europe, and the USA are any indication, the consequences of climate change are already being felt by the human population.

extreme storms

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, temperatures are going to continue to rise on average over the next few decades. In fact, heat waves are supposed to become 25 percent more frequent in Chicago and four to eight times more common in Los Angeles.

Heat waves can affect human health in a number of ways by increasing the incidence of heart problems and asthma, especially in the most vulnerable populations—the very young and the elderly.

2. Extreme Weather Events

Extreme weather events such as cold waves, floods, droughts, storms, and heat waves will increase in frequency and intensity, causing even more health related problems and an increase in human deaths.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change put out a report in 2007 stating that, though the frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes vary quite dramatically from year to year, there have been substantial increases in both duration and intensity of these storms in the US since the 1970s.

hurricane

These storms will negatively affect agriculture and forestry and the quality of water resources (both of which will indirectly influence human health), and will also be responsible for an increase in human mortalities and illnesses.

3. Vector Borne Diseases

Vector borne diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, malaria, and encephalitis will all increase as a result of climate change.

vector borne diseases

As the earth’s temperature warms, diseases that were carried by warm-weather insects like mosquitoes and previously restricted to only tropical areas will be able to spread to locations in which they never would have been able to survive before. As a result, whole new populations will be exposed to these difficult and deadly diseases.

4. Poor Air Quality

To add insult to injury, climate change will also negatively impact air quality, which will indirectly increase the number of humans affected by diseases such as asthma.

asthma

Photo by noii

Additionally, with climate change comes an increase in ground-level ozone—nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, when reacting with sunlight, cause an increase in ground-level ozone. This compound that is especially damaging to lung tissue, causes an increase in chronic lung diseases.

5. Difficulty in Food Production

As droughts and heat waves became more common, and destructive floods and storms became more frequent, it will become increasingly difficult for the land to produce food.

food production

Agricultural yields and production are expected to be widespread in developing countries, especially affecting populations that are the least able to withstand the consequences.

6. Water Wars

Water wars. Not land, not oil, not religion. Communities and nations will be fighting over access to clean water in the decades to come. Droughts and floods will both affect the quality of water, making clean drinking water even scarcer than it already is.

water scarcity Photo by khym54

As a result, desperate, scared people will fight with each other to claim their share for their families. The wars will lead to violence, which will ultimately affect human lives profoundly.

7. Reduced Clean Water Supplies

Changes in weather patterns, reductions in clean water supplies, and war will all lead to the displacement of communities and families, which in turn will lead to an increase in human populations concentrating in refugee camps.

clean water supplies

These communities can damage familial and cultural cohesion and can often be breeding grounds for diseases. Health care in these communities is also a significant challenge.

Together, all of these human health consequences will have a severe impact on the human population.

Filed Under: Eco SystemsFeaturesGreen Living

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