Human Health and Societal Impacts
Human activities cause large disturbances to their surroundings through land use change and urban development. These activities may have severe impacts on human health and society. As outlined by the World Health Organization, there are five major health consequences directly linked with these changes, including:
- Food security – The agricultural sector is extremely sensitive to weather events. Crop failures and diminishing yields may have both economic and social impacts.
- Extreme Weather Events – Extreme weather events cause more deaths and injuries which we are still unable to predict, in addition to increasing the outbreak in deadly diseases, when water and sanitation services are damaged.
- Water Quality and Quantity – Drought may cause large scale famine and water scarcity or flooding may contaminate food and water sources causing disease outbreaks.
- Heat waves – especially in large cities, increase rates of mortality mainly in the elderly and those with cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
- Infectious Diseases – Changing temperatures and rainfall patterns are expected to alter the distribution of insects that carry infectious diseases, making them more prevalent in areas where they currently are not.
Research into the impacts that climate change will have on society provide citizens around the world the opportunity to become more knowledgeable and more proactive in protecting their own health as well as those in the community around them.
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