The Effects of Climate Change on Human Health and the Sources of Greenhouse Gases
Climate change is a complex phenomenon that is affecting our planet, our business environments, government policies, human health and financial systems. It is causing sea levels to rise, causing a variety of changes in weather. This change is also impacting human health. This article will explore the effects of climate change on human health and the sources of greenhouse gases. While the impacts of climate change are obvious, many questions still remain unanswered and the way to innovate to eco solutions are being explored all the time
Sea level rise
Sea level rise due to climate change can be a serious threat to coastal communities and ecosystems, especially coastal cities and towns. Rising sea levels can damage the physical coastline and coastal ecosystems, and they can even contaminate freshwater aquifers – the lifelines of our agricultural and municipal water supplies. Furthermore, sea levels will continue to rise for years to come, depending on the rate of global warming and carbon dioxide emissions.
While sea level rise is common worldwide, individual regions may experience a faster or slower rate of rise. This is due to local factors that may alter their climate and geology. For instance, sea levels in the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic are expected to rise faster than in areas such as Alaska. Currently, sea levels in Alaska are actually decreasing, but that trend will reverse under high greenhouse gas emission pathways.
Changes in weather patterns
Scientists are increasingly detecting a connection between the warming of the Earth and changes in weather patterns. This warming is altering the characteristics of the atmosphere, which increases the amount of water vapor. This water vapor makes storm systems more capable of producing heavier rainfall. While climate change isn’t the only factor affecting weather patterns, it certainly is one of the most obvious.
Changes in weather patterns due to climate change will affect many crops around the world. Some of these crops thrive in hot temperatures, while others prefer cooler climates. Changes in rain and temperature patterns will affect the growth of these crops, causing shortages of food in some areas. The most affected regions include parts of Africa, South-east Asia, and China.
Impacts on human health
Climate change is already changing the environment, and its impacts are affecting our health. Increasing temperature and changing weather patterns affect air quality, which in turn can cause respiratory illnesses and asthma attacks. Warmer temperatures and increased carbon dioxide levels also affect the amount of allergens in the air. These changes have already begun to affect the health of many people, and these effects are likely to worsen in the future.
Changes in weather and water temperatures may increase the frequency and severity of disease, which can be harmful to humans. Changing seasons may also cause disease-carrying insects to migrate to new locations, and this could lead to increased transmission of diseases such as the West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Rising air pollution can cause respiratory ailments and contribute to other health problems.
Sources of greenhouse gases
The main sources of greenhouse gases are human activities, such as the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas. These emissions are mostly produced by a small number of countries. The largest emitters are China, the United States, and the European Union. However, per capita emissions are much higher in Russia and the United States. In the coming decades, emissions are expected to remain stable. However, reductions in developed countries’ emissions are expected to offset increases in developing countries.
Chemical processes such as the production of ammonia are another source of greenhouse gases. These gases are released during the production of many products, including cleaning agents and water purification. Petrochemical manufacturing also produces emissions because of energy inputs. Other sources include wastewater, which can collect organic matter and decompose into methane. Landfills are also another source of emissions because they are low-oxygen environments.
Impacts on infrastructure
Among the many issues facing society today are climate change and its impacts on infrastructure. Infrastructure includes bridges, roads, ports, electricity grids, and digital communication systems. The effects of climate change on infrastructure can range from immediate threats to long-term impacts. For example, increased temperatures may put extra stress on existing facilities, and increased rainfall may lead to floods.
The impacts of climate change on infrastructure are far-reaching and could have multiple cascading effects on the economy. The most significant risk is the increasing frequency of flooding. Other risks include changes in maximum wind speeds and temperatures. All these factors will have significant implications on many infrastructure networks. While most infrastructure sectors have taken some measures to adapt, interdependencies may make them more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Prof Dianne Jolley in an environmental chemist and toxicologist leading a dynamic research group which is investigating the assessment and prediction of toxicity. Her research includes establishing field-based tools to assess the risk of contaminants in aquatic and agricultural systems; investigating the biological impacts of contaminants and using the outcomes to critically inform the science that underpins the water and sediment quality guidelines; and probing the mechanisms of contaminant toxicity and biomarkers to diagnose this toxicity. Dianne Jolley’s research spans the tropics, temperate and polar regions in both freshwater/terrestrial and coastal marine systems. Dianne Jolley has well-established collaborations with government and industry, including CSIRO Land and Water and the Australian Antarctic Division.