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How Does Climate Affect Human Life?

Change in global and regional climate patterns attributed to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels

How Does Climate Affect Human Life?

Climate change is being experienced today, and there is no way to deny it. Since 2017, temperatures have risen steadily, presenting warmer and warmer periods globally.

And although in some places, this does not seem to be a cause for concern, the reality is different for other people. Climate is a factor in tenuous balance, and any variation can trigger enormous consequences.

Many of these consequences are directly reflected in people’s daily lives. The situations that can arise from huge heat waves to disease to crop failures are primarily negative.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are the first notable factor when it comes to climate change. The temperature increase creates variations in some regions of the world, and with it, phenomena of all kinds begin to occur.

The most basic of these are heat waves, which pose a direct and indirect danger to humans. Heat waves, which usually last for a prolonged period, often turn into droughts, ruining crops and producing famine.

On the other hand, very high heat waves can produce increased evaporation in certain areas, generating heavy rains and floods. This type of natural disaster is one of the most dangerous, as it ruins crops and can damage buildings or homes, depending on its magnitude.

In addition, the increase in temperature can trigger other types of indirect disasters. Latin America often experiences natural phenomena such as “El Niño” characterized by long periods of drought followed by torrential rains. Other countries experience tropical storms, which end up triggering hurricanes.

Another type of natural disaster comes from droughts that last for long periods. Australia had a significant drought in 2019 which started to generate multiple wildfires in the area, which managed to spread and become a great danger to both the environment and cities.

Diseases

Heat waves and increased precipitation bring with them the emergence of different conditions or diseases. Several of these diseases are usually found in the tropics, but when they occur in more northern or southern areas of the world, they create significant disasters.

Increased rainfall brings diseases such as malaria, chikungunya, and dengue fever. This type of disease is transmitted directly by a species of mosquito that does not usually increase in conditions of less rain and lower temperatures.

Diseases linked to excessive heat are also common and can affect the morbidity of an area. The most common symptoms are muscle pain, abdominal cramps, feelings of exhaustion, and dehydration.

Heat strokes produce headaches, vertigo, irritability, hypotension, tachycardia, hyperventilation, and hyperthermia. If these situations are prolonged, they can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

Loss of food sources

This indirect consequence affects large populations and generates shortages of specific products or famine in rural communities. Many communities depend on certain environmental factors to provide food for their people; any climate variation eliminates this possibility.

Long periods of drought, as well as significant floods, often ruin entire crops. Heat waves or cold snaps also often limit crop growth or, in some cases, kill growing plants.

Populations that depend on fishing are also affected by variations in temperature. Certain ocean currents are responsible for the presence of plankton in the area, which brings with it various fish. Any temperature variation would eliminate this delicate food and thus reduce fishing in the area.

Although livestock farming is now modernized in many parts of the world, other places still work with extensive livestock farming. Significant droughts often damage grazing fields, decreasing the maximum size of the animals and, thus, the meat they produce.

Finally, temperature variations can give way to organisms that are not usually present. Germs, insects, fungi, and many others tend to emerge when conditions are conducive to them, ruining many cultivable foodstuffs.

What other factors are aggravating these situations?

The current climate change is produced by the increase of harmful emissions to the ozone layer, which increases the heat inside the planet, but that does not imply that only the heat is generating this problem.

Pollution itself also ends up directly affecting the climate, producing unusual events. Among them, we can highlight the presence of acid rains, cities with high smog density, rain pollution, etc.

Pollution also aggravates other problems that climate change is already causing. Problems such as diseases end up spreading when those related to pollution (skin diseases, respiratory diseases, etc.) also begin to appear.

The truth is that human beings must start looking for viable solutions to all these problems, or they will be immersed in increasingly harmful situations for themselves.

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