Effects Of Climate Change On Humans

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Effects of climate change on humans

Effects of climate change on humans


Climate change IS commonly used to describe any systematic alteration or statistically significant variation in either the average state of the climate elements such as precipitation, temperature, winds, or pressure; or in its variability, sustained over a finite time period (decades or longer). It can be referred to as the long-term change in global weather patterns, associated especially with increases in temperature, precipitation, and storm activity (Watson, 2002, 33).

Climate change is attributed directly or indirectly to anthropogenic activities that impact the natural composition of the global climate elements. It may also be a result of natural external forcing, such as changes in Earths orbital variables, or solar emission, and other natural internal processes of the Earth's climate system. The relative influences of external anthropogenic and natural factors on climate can be broadly compared, using the concept of radioactive forcing (Mitchell, 2000, 69).

Climate change effects on food and draughts

Socioeconomic systems will be affected by the increase in floods, and droughts. Projections confirm that many countries will experience decreased yields to their crop productivity, especially in areas projected to receive lower rainfall. Climate change will significantly affect those living in the Pacific. In the 1990s, for example, the Pacific Island region sustained costs of up to $1 billion from climate-related incidents.

For many African regions, warmer and drier conditions have led to a reduced length of growing season, with detrimental effects on crops. At lower latitudes, especially in seasonally dry and tropical regions, crop productivity is projected to decrease for even small local temperature increases 1.8-3.6 degrees F (1-2 degrees C), which would increase risk of hunger. In some countries, yields from rain-fed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent by 2020 (Tom, 2002, 85).

Water shortages will put increased pressure on forestry and agriculture. By mid-century, annual average river runoff and water availability are projected to increase by 10-40 percent at high latitudes and in some wet tropical areas, and decrease by 10-30 percent in some dry regions at mid-latitudes and in the dry tropics, some of which are already water-stressed areas. For example, in Africa By 2020, 75-250 million people are projected to experience an increase in water stress from climate change. If coupled with increased demand, this will adversely affect livelihoods and exacerbate water-related problems. In the course of the century, water supplies stored in glaciers and snow cover are projected to decline, reducing water availability in regions supplied by melt water from major mountain ranges, where more than one-sixth of the world population currently lives. Freshwater availability in central, south, east, and southeast Asia, particularly in large river basins, is projected to decrease because of climate changes that, along with population growth and increasing demand arising from higher standards of living, could adversely affect more than a billion people by the 2050s (Agarwal, 2002, 55).

Much livestock will find it hard to adapt to the physiological effects associated with climate change, and there are ...
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