A furnace world will alter how we eat, how we voyage, and where we exist. What far smaller amount of us has measured is how severe weather change will alter the way we die. Here are some 10 ways global warming is killing you already.
10. Heat Waves
Image source: Clean Malaysia
You know how we hear that the real effects of climate change won’t be visible for another year or so? Well, think again, because they’re coming fast and they’re coming hot. Traditional scientific consensus has been that if we can manage to keep global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius, we’ll manage to avoid the doomiest and gloomiest of what global warming has to offer. But recent evidence has suggested that at just 0.7 degrees, we’re already seeing alarming increases in fatally hot weather events. And to the surprise of no one, it’s disproportionately affecting poorer areas of the planet. In fact, since India has seen the total number of heat waves with more than deaths increase by150%. The Asian nation has nearly million people who fall below the global poverty line of 1.90$. Per day, meaning that they’re incredibly dependent on favorable farming weather and can’t afford to protect themselves from the fatal temperatures. At its peak in, neighboring Pakistan recorded a temperature of 53.5 Degrees Celsius. That’s the highest temperature ever recorded in May, worldwide, and there’s no sign of things slowing down. It followed a similar heat wave in that killed, people and forced the Muslim population to break Ramadan in order to survive.
Image source: Animalia Life
Bees really are having a rough time right now, and the punches just keep rolling in. For a decade now, honey bee populations have been dropping at an unprecedented rate – sometimes as high as 30% of colonies per year. First, it was pesticides called Neonicotinoids accelerating colony collapse, and then it was diseased that attack their blood and cripple their wings. Now it looks like climate change is the uppercut that might just leave them, and us, on the ropes as a species. A 2015 study by the American Association for the Advancement of Science found that the range of bee habitats among different species had reduced by a whopping km on average between 1975 and 2010. It’s all because heightening temperatures are causing many crops to shift north to adapt, but the bees are yet to follow suit – and there’s no indication that they will at all. If this trend continues and the bees die off, it will have massive repercussions for humanity as a species. Currently, one-third of all food that we eat comes from pollinating animals. That’s up to. Billion tons of produce including apple, lettuce, and avocados wiped off the map if bees aren’t there to do their job. On the plus side, with no avocado toast, millennial might be able to afford a house.
Image source: The Imaginative Conservative
Before you balk at the idea of a connection between global temperatures and global terrorism, hear me out. Even the Pentagon thinks it’s a real thing. In 2007 and 2014, reports published by the Department of Defense claimed that the environmental damage brought on by climate change would leave nations weakened, desperate and open to extremism. And it’s already starting to happen in real life. According to the PNAS scientific journal, the 2007 Syrian drought created conditions that significantly influenced the civil war that followed. 250,000 people died in the drought, which was likely the worst in 900 years, and millions more were displaced from rural areas to the bustling cities. The population upheaval and desperate starvation are thought to have left many Syrians in a position where they could be exploited by militant terrorist groups like ISIS and could have actually led to some of the dire events of the war.
07. Seasonal ShiftsImage source: Echoes of an Empty Mind
The media often portrays climate change solely in terms of catastrophic events and one-offs that, actually, isn’t quite so one-off. But if you thought that global warming was just about freak events, then I’ve got news for you. Over the last few decades, we’ve seen a subtle, sometimes not-so-subtle shift in the lengths of seasons. In fact, summers now tend to start as much as days earlier than years ago. And before you start thinking about how you can spend your extra time in the sun, keep in mind that this kind of shift could have a major effect on the natural balance between plants, animals, and people. And it’s already starting to take hold around the globe. We’re beginning to see farmers being thrown off agricultural rhythms in developing countries, as the rainy seasons are showing up early and disrupt their ability to yield enough crops. The Global Humanitarian Forum estimates that this could be contributing to as many as, climate change-related deaths each year. And it’s not just the large-scale implications; the phenomenon is damaging the lives of native Alaskan Inupiat, as seasonal shifts have caused the behavior of moose to go out of sync with when they can legally hunt.
Image source: SUWalls
Believe it or not, wildfires are actually good for the forests of the world.They take on the necessary role of clearing away dead trees and rebalancing the forest in their own violent, horrific way. But everything in moderation, as the Greeks say, and climate change is making forest fires less moderated than your drunk aunt at a wedding. In the last 40 years, instances of forest fires have increased 5 -fold, lasting 5 times longer and affecting times the area. In the first half of 2017 alone, 10,000 square km of American forest was burned to the ground. That’s an area the size of Jamaica. The problem can be traced back to climate change through increased global temperatures leading to drier soil and fires that burn much more aggressively. California, in particular, is feeling the brunt, where fires have jumped massively in size and cost to 2,000, square km and $500 million to quell. It even called a state of emergency in 2014.
05. Economic Decline
Image source: Economic Decline
We all know money talks, and right now it’s saying that climate change is already costing us big time. The direct effects are causing all kinds of problems in their own ways, but it’s having the serious knock on effect of global losses to revenue, which in turn is racking up its own death toll. As of 2010, the symptoms of climate change are costing the world $1.2 trillion annually, burning1.7% off of the world’s economic output. Most of the staggering cost comes from farming losses, where it’s estimated that a 1 degree Celsius temperature increase cuts yield by 10%, and it’s propped up by the costs of dealing with increasing ecological disasters. All in all those factors are causing 400,000 deaths per year, and it’s only going up. By 2030 global losses are expected to nearly double to 3.2% and deaths are set to increase to 630,000.
Image source: Organized Chaos Online
Everyone hates mosquitoes. They’re annoying, they’re hard to get rid of and, when they’re at their worst, they might just straight up murder you. So it’s great to know that with the rising temperatures, the world could be seeing them a whole lot more often. Thanks to the weather shifts that climate change brings with it, we’re starting to see them spread in ways we haven’t seen before. For one thing, more temperate areas of the world are starting to see mosquito migrations where they were rare or non-existent before, and in seasonal habitats like California, mosquitoes could take up the mantle of nature’s awful houseguests and never leave. And on a localized level, increased rainfall is leading to greater moisture and more stagnant water pools for them to hang out. It’s already starting to be a real and very life threatening problem. The World Health Organization has pointed to climate change as being instrumental in the spread of the Zika Virus, which has had as many as 400,000 suspected worldwide cases. And if that wasn’t enough, the non-governmental organization has also predicted a 5% increase in malaria as a result of climate-based mosquito movements. Better invest in some bug spray.
Image source: bostonmagazine.com
Along with ice ages, meteors and rampaging monsters, flooding is standard fare for disaster movies. But sadly, the Sci rings much truer than the Fi when it comes to catastrophic water levels, so we have some big problems. Due to the increase in global temperatures, some regions are seeing a lot more moisture in the air, and just like with smoke and fire, where there’s moisture there’s rain – and lots of it. According to the national wildlife federation, massive precipitation events should normally only happen once every 20 years. But they’re increasing in frequency and will be 4 times as likely by the end of the century. Don’t be fooled by that time-scale though, the effects are already more than visible. In 2015, South Carolina fell victim to a flood that might only occur once every thousand years, killing 9 people, submerging streets and destroying houses across the state. Likewise in Louisiana, the state experienced 8 flooding events between summer and 2016 that exceeded the amount of rainfall that should be expected once in 500 years. Just to repeat, that’s 4,000 years worth of flooding in just 1 year. I’m not sure sandbags are quite enough to fix that one.
02. Coral Reef Collapse
Image source: The Weather Channel
The coral reef is one of the most beautiful sights our blue marble has to behold, while it lasts at least. It’s a wonder of biodiversity, containing a quarter of all aquatic species in just 1% of the ocean floor. But increases in ocean temperature are leaving the reefs vulnerable to disease and causing them to undergo mass bleaching – not to mention increasing carbon in the water causing them to acidify. In short, we’re idiots for destroying it. But to add insult to injury, we’re basically trashing the ocean’s natural pharmacy while we’re at it. One of the lesser known wonders of the reef is that it yields a massive array of potential treatments for diseases that have plagued humanity. According to one scientist, we’re 3 to4 hundred times more likely to create new medicines from ocean sources than the land. Chemicals from animals like sea sponges have already yielded new treatments for everything from common ailments like asthma to the likes of leukemia and HIV. It’s all down to the unique density of life in the reef, which has led to a bizarre range of chemicals among the animals there, designed to ward off potential predators. They say don’t bite the hand that feeds, so definitely don’t bite the hand that cures most serious diseases known to man.
01. Dormant diseases
Image source: Zastavki.com
Normally when people hear global warming, they think of the physical consequences, and you absolutely should, but you might want to add biological perils to the list of worries. There’s a good deal of evidence to suggest that shifting climate conditions could leave you feeling sick as a dog, or maybe a seal if your home gets submerged by rising sea levels. It’s all because of permafrost, which is ground ice that has been frozen for more than two years but often for hundreds or even thousands. It’s starting to warm up at alarming rates, about a degree every decade, and it’s revealing some stone cold horrors. In 2016 a layer of permafrost in Russia gave way to a preserved dead reindeer that was carrying what has been dubbed ‘zombie anthrax’ because it was lying dormant in the ice. The outbreak killed over 2,300, reindeer, hospitalized more than 100 people and led to the tragic death of a year old boy. Since then, scientists have become worried that bygone diseases like Smallpox and Spanish Flu could thaw out and make a comeback, or even unknown ancient pathogens that blighted our ancestors. That was 10 ways global warming is already killing you. Which one scared you the most? Let us know in the comments.