Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Climate change is making the world sick

Geordan Shannon in the Ecologist: Sea–level rises, changes to the severity of monsoon seasons and rainfall, flooding, droughts and heatwaves are all having an increasing impact on human health, writes Geordon Shannon.

It is beyond doubt that our emissions of greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. And climate change is making us sick. The World Health Organisation estimates that between 1970 and 2004, the environmental effects of climate change caused more than 140,000 deaths each year.

And the direct financial cost of the damage it will have on our health is estimated to come in at around US$2-4 billion in just over 15 years time. We tend to think of large-scale weather events as 'natural' disasters, but the case is increasingly being made for a man-made cause and effect for some of these.

While it is difficult to attribute single events such as Hurricane Katrina to climate change, climatologists have suggested a possible role in contributing to the intensity of these kinds of events. And flooding, droughts, heatwaves, and the spread of disease have all been linked to climate change....

Caduceus created by Rama, public domain

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