Severe Weather, Global Warming, and Likely Heath Impacts

After noting the extreme weather in 2011, some authorities are preparing for the widespread impact of global warming. In this article from the HuffPost, the emphasis is on the health impacts expected. Titled Weather Extremes Hint At Public Health Impacts Of Climate Change , the article features a new tool called the Extreme Weather Map; Dec.9, 2011. The map is maintained by the Natural Resources Defense Council. According to the lead researcher on the map project:

“We have to really understand the local context of these extreme events and how they impact our communities by looking at them in what we call a spatially specific way, or in a way that really gets down to the geography of risk …by addressing those particular aspects of our communities, our cities and our populations that make people more susceptible to the negative health consequences of climate change.”

Rising temperatures are expected to have an impact on all aspects of the public health infrastructure — from air and water quality to food safety, Luber noted. A warmer atmosphere, for example, retains more water, increasing the likelihood of historically heavy rains, which can subsequently overwhelm treatment facilities and spread disease. Rising temperatures can also exacerbate smog, causing increased instances of respiratory illness, or alter the ecology of insect-borne diseases like Lyme, West Nile virus and others.

1 thought on “Severe Weather, Global Warming, and Likely Heath Impacts

  1. On the other hand, fewer deaths from people freezing. It’s rather presumptuous to of the NRDC – or anyone else – to make such claims at this point. While we know that the climate is warming in general, there are local areas with marked cooling trends. None of our models have much demonstrated predictive value at this point, particularly at a local scale. I suggest not getting too upset about their conclusions.

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