Dr. Jonathan Patz, an environmental health scientist from the
Global warming means more than rising temperatures. Patz said the changing composition of the atmosphere means more extreme weather of all kinds: drought, floods and mudslides. "Warmer sea surface temperatures drive hurricane winds," said Patz, citing a global increase in category 4 and 5 storms.
But the flooding doesn't mean more water. Patz said about 40 percent of the water supply to Southern California could be vulnerable by 2020 because of the loss of snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the
Some of the threats hit people where they breathe. The Natural Resources Defense Council presented a study stating that the rise in ozone pollution could mean more ragweed and, with it, more asthma and allergies.
There are social justice issues, too. The poor and elderly living on fixed budgets may be hit harder by heat waves because they can't afford air conditioning. Patz said that, while undeveloped countries struggle with the rising rate of malaria and other infectious diseases linked to rising temperatures, it's the