What Is The Impact of Climate Change On Our Health Now?
Scientists have talked for years about the impact global climate will have on our planet. Some are even speculating that, at this point, there are some things that have happened as a result of the changing climate that are already irreversible. For example, mountain glaciers are in alarming retreat and the downstream effects of reduced water supply in the driest months may already be a foregone conclusion. Did you know that global climate change is having an impact on your health now? Some scientists say that impact may also be irreversible.
Catastrophic weather such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts and heat waves directly impact our health, but warming trends have also allowed mosquitoes to thrive. For instance, the mosquitos that spreads dengue, Zika and yellow fever, as well as malaria and West Nile virus, are finding more places to live. In addition, weather conditions impact the availability of safe drinking water, the availability of food, and the disruption of health care services.
Food shortages. Right now in California, acres and acres of land are scorched from recent fires. The fires not only impacted the wine and cannabis industries, but also grape growers, a thriving dairy industry (cows, goats, and sheep), as well as some vegetable growers. All of these losses are important for the American economy. California alone is the 6th largest economy in the world and the largest producer of food for the United States. A report by the U.S. Global Change Research Program found that “climate change is very likely to affect global, regional, and local food security by disrupting food availability, decreasing access to food, and making utilization more difficult.”
Heart disease. Many more people will die of heart problems as global warming continues, experts are warning. Climate extremes of hot and cold will become more common and this will put strain on people’s hearts. A study in the British Medical Journal found that each 1C (33 degrees) temperature drop on a single day in the UK is linked to 200 extra heart attacks.