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of global warming are of concern both for the environment and human
life. Scenarios studied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) predict that global warming will continue and get worse much
faster than was expected even in their last report.
Research by NOAA indicate that the effects of global warming are already irreversible. The IPCC reports attribute many specific natural phenomena to human causes. The expected long range effects of recent climate change may already be observed.
Rising sea levels, glacier retreat, Arctic shrinkage, and altered patterns of agriculture are cited as direct consequences of human activities. Predictions for secondary and regional effects include extreme weather events, an expansion of tropical diseases, changes in the timing of seasonal patterns in ecosystems, and drastic economic impact.
Health Concerns Related to Global Warming
As global warming affects the environment, it should not be surprising that it affects the health of the people living in that environment. Changes in the climate are changes in the habitats not only for animals, but for people as well.
Climate changes are already impacting people's health.
Global warming has caused intense heating up of the environment. In areas where people are not prepared for extreme heat, there have been devastating heat waves recently. There were heat flare-ups in Europe in 2003 which lasted as long as two weeks at a time. Temperatures soared upwards of 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures like this are common in parts of the American Southwest, for example. People are well-equipped to deal with the heat because that is the climate zone they are living in. However, Europe is usually much cooler. Residents there were not ready for such temperatures.
Over 35,000 people died in Europe as a result of the heat waves that year. Global warming had changed their habitat, so to speak.
There have also been heat waves in North America. One in 2006 claimed 226 lives. Another probable result of global warming is increased pollen in the air. This happens because higher levels of carbon dioxide encourage the growth of more pollen producing weeds. Because more pollen means worse air quality, those with allergies and asthma suffer.
Global warming can also affect the incidence of tropical disease. Mosquitoes have been found in places that were once too cold for them. High elevations, such as mountains were once free of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
However, as the warmth climbs higher up the mountain, so do the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes carry malaria to new regions of Indonesia because of global warming. Dengue fever has reached elevations in the Andean Mountains of Colombia where it was never seen before.
Other health concerns related to global warming revolve around flooding. When sudden storms and flooding occur, it is often impossible to get ill or injured people to medical facilities in time to help them.
Often, people take dangerous risks during floods. They drive into water, thinking that they can make it across. When they do not, they can get swept away and drowned. There is no graver consequence of global warming than death, of course.
People are also left with messes to clean up after floods. This can result in exposure to high levels of mold. Many people will have intense allergic reactions to mold. The person can have hives all over the body. Sometimes, the tongue will swell and cut off breathing. It is a serious condition. Curtailing global warming would lessen the incidence of flooding and prevent this many times.
Since global warming can have an affect on the food supply, it is obvious that people can suffer from malnutrition because of this. This is especially true in agrarian societies in underdeveloped countries.
If all people knew how much global warming can affect their health, they might be more prone to working on a solution. Until then, those who understand the ramifications of global warming will have to work even harder.
More ArticlesWhat The Other Side Is Saying About Global Warming
... the year 2100, it is not seen by this group of people as a dangerous situation. After all, there was a .2 rise in the sea level during the past century and humans did not even seem to notice. When the global warming pundits talk about the rises in sea level that result from three sheets of ice that melt ...
... and does not allow them to be cut down indiscriminately, global warming will be slowed down. Another thing nations can do is to focus on energy efficiency. The less energy is used, the less global warming has a chance to take hold. A country can place efficiency standards on appliances and cars. Even ...
... even stop it. If this were to happen, the cold waters would stay in the area of Europe, the UK, Scandinavia, and the Northeastern US. It could mean an ice age for those regions. In every major cooling event, such as the last great Ice Age, the Gulf Stream has been significantly weakened. This can happen ...
... coming up with different answers to the most basic questions about global warming. Some scientists studying global warming in the Arctic have discovered thinning sea ice near the northern reaches of Alaska. The summer of 2007 showed the least sea ice since sea ice was first tracked in 1979. Scientists ...
... communities are flooded. Various suggestions have been made about the levels that the water level could reach, anywhere from 10 to 23 inches by 2100. Global warming has the potential to make the earth a very inhospitable place to live. Rising temperatures in the oceans' waters are a clear indication that ...
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