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Health Impacts.docx

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Life Sciences
Luc Bernier

March 13 , 2013 Life Sci 2H03: Environmental Life Sciences Health Impacts Potential Impacts of Global Climate Change on Human Health - multiple levels at which climate will impact human health Climate Change and Health - more heat waves - more climate extremes: floods, powerful storms (hurricanes), more droughts - will effect all the major food belts of the world - will effect the world food supply - consequence: increase the number of undernourished people in low-income world - impact on water quality especially in low-income world: higher exposure to pathogens and exposure to infectious diseases - tendency to migrate to urban environments as crops are no longer productive, deterioration to conditions of living, air quality will decrease - air quality in many large urban areas will deteriorate - more mobility and more respiratory diseases - change in distribution of vector born diseases, i.e. infection that are carried by animals (malaria) increase exposure of population to these types of populations, particularly in Africa - impact on food production, particularly in low latitude countries as conditions will become drier - pressure on the world’s food supply system in higher latitude countries - reorganization of global food production - leading to major social and economic disruption which has a consequence on human health Heatwaves and Marked Short-Term Increases in Mortality - periods of intense heat where the days and nights are really hot - expected to become more frequency - trend has been continuing since the 1950s - people who already have poor health status, becomes increasing issue - in August 2003, heat wave in France: caused more than 14,800 deaths - particularly elderly - blue line is the typical pattern and the red line is the daily mortality - more intensive in the urban areas as there is nothing to moderate temperatures The Heat Wave of 2006 - killed in the U.S. at least 225 people - many unreported deaths - July 22: temperature reached 49 C in Woodland Hills, California - At a remote farm is South Dakota: a temperature of 54 C was reported - California: 25 000 cattle died as a result of temperature increase - In Europe, was the 2 massive ehat wave to hit the continent in 4 years - Temperatures rose to: 40 C in Paris - Ireland: >32 Co o - Belgium and Germany: 35 C - Looking at the amount of heat that is actually involved - Measure of outgoing longwave radiation - Massive amounts of ehat involved in this period of time Estimating the Mortality Effect of the July 2006 California Heat Wave - some people are more susceptible - look at distribution of mortality - a lot of deaths should have been associated to the heat wave - heat wave-related deaths are underreported due to:  lack of a clear case definition  multiple factors involved in heat-related mortality  actual mortality during the July 2006 heat wave was: 2-3 times greater than coroner estimates - more pollution and heat waves causes the situations tooworsen - there was a 9% increase in daily mortality per 10 F - +51%, all other areas where temperature was lower was +4to +19% Cold-Waves: a Problem in Northern Latitudes - problem for people living outdoors - decrease over the past 50 years Floods: The Most Frequent Weather Disaster - after precipitation there is an increase in river discharge - river floods the neighbouring areas - in urban areas, due to all the pavement there is less ground for the water to perculate, very soon after rain event we end up with more water flowing in urban areas - function of the rain fall and topography - expected to happen more often in urban areas where precipitation is increasing Major Storm and Flood Disasters in the Last Two Decades - e.g. Venezuela, 19
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