Over the last 50 years, human activities – particularly the burning of fossil fuels – have released sufficient quantities of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to trap additional heat in the lower atmosphere and affect the global climate. In the last 100 years, the world has warmed by approximately 0.75°C. Over the last 25 years, the rate of global warming has accelerated, at over 0.18°C per decade. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting and precipitation patterns are changing. extreme weather events are becoming more intense and frequent. (WHO)
Scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa calculated that by 2047, plus or minus five years, the average temperatures in each year will be hotter across most parts of the planet than they had been at those locations in any year between 1860 and 2005. (Gillis) climate change is a very serious issue in our world at the moment. Climate change is already affecting glacier melting, sea level rise, the range and distribution of plants and animals, tree blooming times, the length of growing seasons, freezing and thawing of rivers and lakes, and the extent of the permafrost. (EPA)
... ). Human Contributions to Climate Change Some experts accept as true that the earth experienced climate change from two hundred ten million years to one hundred ... forty million years ago or during the Jurassic ...
Climate change is one of the most serious public health threats facing the nation, but few people are aware of how it can affect them. Children, the elderly, and communities living in poverty are among the most vulnerable. Air pollution, extreme heat, infectious diseases, drought, flooding, and extreme weather are many of the resulting effects of climate change. (NRDC) Here are many of the events that could happen because of climate changes:
Global warming will likely bring an increase in heat waves. Those could combine with the buildup of pollution, including ozone, a primary component of smog. Studies have shown high levels of pollution are linked to an increase in hospital admissions for cardiac problems. And a new study found higher temperatures and ozone may act together to worsen heart health. The results show high temperatures in the summer months in a U.S. city are associated with a decrease in heart-rate variability, or how regular the time between heartbeats is, which acts as a measure of how well the heart is working. Low heart-rate variability is associated with an increased risk of death following a heart attack. Air temperature and ozone may be bad for the heart because they influence the way the automatic nervous system functions. The automatic nervous system is a part of the central nervous system that helps the body adapt to its environment. It regulates body functions, including the heart’s electrical activity and airflow into the lungs. Higher temperatures may also make the body more sensitive to toxins, such as ozone, researchers say.
Studies also show allergies are on the rise in developed countries, including the United States, which could be due, in part, to rising carbon dioxide levels and warming temperatures. A 2005 study found that plants are flowering earlier in the year, and total pollen production is increasing. A more recent study in Italy found that not only had pollen levels increased in the area, but the populations’ sensitivity to pollen had increased as well. While genetics plays a large role in all allergies, a longer and more intense pollen season could exacerbate symptoms.
In recent years, more and more scientists have found evidence that the worlds climate is becoming warmer. They believe this global warming is due largely to the pollution of the atmosphere by human activities. (Jennings) Global warming may bring an increase in extreme events, including heat waves, floods and large storms, which could come with high death tolls. Heat and drought are amongst the deadliest natural disasters. A study that reviewed weather disasters in the United States since 1980 found the top two killers were heat waves and the drought that comes with them. And heat waves may be getting worse. A study in 2007 found heat waves in Europe are nearly twice as long as they were 100 years ago. The region was struck with a mega heat wave in 2003 that killed about 70,000 people. Such mega heat waves could increase by a factor of 5 to 10 in the area, a recent study found.
To what extent is the climate of the British Isles a product of the air masses that affect it? Climate is defined as the weather averaged over a 30 year period, with weather being determined by temperature, humidity, wind and precipitation. The climate in the British Isles is described as cool temperate western maritime climate, although there are regional differences in climate across the British ...
Next, the improper use of land coupled with climate variations may lead to an increase in global desertification, or the degradation of soil in dry areas. When we try to take from an ecosystem more than it can give we risk reducing the productivity of the ecosystem to ever lower levels. Ultimately we may destroy it altogether for a period of one or several generations. (Gallant) A 2010 study found 38 percent of the world is made up of arid areas at risk for desertification. Once degraded, the soil becomes unproductive. This may limit the land that can be used for agriculture to feed the world’s growing population.
Global desertification could also boost growth of harmful bacteria in the ocean. Desert dust supplies iron to the ocean, which many marine organisms need to live. A study presented at this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in February found desert dust fueled the growth of Vibrios, a group of ocean bacteria that cause gastroenteritis and infectious diseases in people.”Within 24 hours of mixing weathered desert dust from Morocco with seawater samples, we saw a 10 to 1000 fold growth in Vibrios, including one strain that could cause eye, ear and open wound infections, and another strain that could cause cholera ,” study researcher Erin Lipp, a graduate student at the University of Georgia, said at the meeting. An increase in this type of bacteria could mean more people become ill as they are exposed to contaminated seafood.
Lastly, Increases in heat and rainfall in certain areas brought on by climate change may make conditions ripe for disease spread. Certain vector-borne diseases illnesses in which a host organism, such as an insect, carries and transmits a disease-causing agent are particularly affected by varying weather and hotter temperatures. Because these vectors are cold-blooded, they rely on their surrounding environment to control their internal heat. So an increase in temperature would potentially favor insect life, and possibly allow the spread of certain diseases, such as malaria, into new areas. Rainfall is also thought to benefit insect life, and several studies have linked increased rainfall to disease outbreaks, particularly waterborne diseases. (Retter)
Greenhouse gases are important in maintaining Earths habitable climate. These greenhouse gases must fall within a narrow range. Too much of any of the greenhouse gases can induce climatic changes, in particular, global warming. Of the greatest concern are the anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases because they are steadily increasing in concentration in the atmosphere, and therefore increasing ...
The impacts of climate change on health will depend on many factors. These factors include the effectiveness of a community’s public health and safety systems to address or prepare for the risk and the behavior, age, gender, and economic status of individuals affected. Impacts will likely vary by region, the sensitivity of populations, the extent and length of exposure to climate change impacts, and society’s ability to adapt to change. (EPA) Although the impacts of climate change have the potential to affect human health in the United States and around the world, there is a lot we can do to prepare for and adapt to these changes.