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Global Warming and Human Health

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Presentation on theme: "Global Warming and Human Health"— Presentation transcript:

1 Global Warming and Human Health
By Carolyn Vasko How our planet is warming and its direct effect on the human race

2 What is global warming? Global warming is a marked and extended change in the Earth’s climate for the warmer Climate change is an extended change in the Earth’s regular pattern of atmospheric conditions and its fluctuations Global warming is caused by an enhanced greenhouse effect caused by human activity

3 What is the greenhouse effect?
The greenhouse effect is caused by the trapping of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere First the Sun’s high frequency rays of radiation enter into the Earth’s atmosphere in the form of visible light Next the Earth absorbs these rays and radiates them back into the atmosphere as infrared radiation, or heat Since the Earth’s atmosphere includes certain gases which even in small amounts can absorb infrared radiation , gases such as methane, carbon dioxide, fluorocarbons, and nitrous oxide, the infrared radiation is trapped by these gases and can not escape the Earth’s atmosphere Lastly, as the Earth’s atmosphere traps more and more heat the Earth’s atmosphere begins to increase the temperature of the Earth itself

4 What causes an enhanced greenhouse effect?
The greenhouse effect is caused by human activities which produce the greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorocarbons Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas and is produced by fossil fuel burning power plants, heating systems, factories, and modes of transportation that burn fossil fuels. Deforestation adds to the problem since most forest remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in order to produce food through photosynthesis. Methane is another greenhouse gas produced by human use of land, including the livestock we use and such agricultural objects as rice fields, wetlands and marshes Nitrous oxide is produced by the exhaust of cars, human disposal of waste and human use of nitrogen-based fertilizers Fluorocarbons are gases which are emitted when humans use their refrigerators and their air conditioners Humans produce 30 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, million tons of methane, and 7-13 million tons of nitrous oxide, a drastic increase from even fifty years ago

5 How do we know global warming is happening?
In the top graph at the right we can see the rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as measured in parts per million in the atmosphere, measurements having been taken on the island of Mauna Loa, Hawaii In the bottom graph at the left can be seen the rising temperatures on the planet over the past years

6 Global warming and Human Health
Global warming will affect human health in a number of different ways The spread of infectious diseases will be affected Agriculture will be affected Extreme weather patterns will be affected The amount of smog near the ground will be affected The supply of freshwater available to humans will be affected

7 The infectious diseases
Infectious diseases can be carried by many different organisms, among them are ticks, flies and mosquitoes. When the climate becomes warmer such organisms called vectors such as ticks, flies and mosquitoes can breed easier in the warmer wetter climates. As climate change begins to affect our planet to a greater extent the infectious disease carrying organisms will be able to reach higher altitudes and will have a longer season of breeding, increasing the likelihood of a human being in contact with the disease Also, as the climate warms the amount of algae and fish that produce toxins poisonous to humans will increase

8 The infectious diseases
Malaria can affect 45% of the world’s population today but if global warming continues at the rate that it is progressing, that number could change to be 60% of the world’s population

9 The infectious diseases
Malaria is a parasitic disease borne by mosquitoes which on reaching the bloodstream causes blood cells to rupture, causing a fever, chills and anemia in the victim and potentially resulting in death within hours Viral encephalitis is another disease carried by the mosquito and the tick and which results in an inflammation of the brain that can result in a brain hemorrhaging as well Leishmaniasis is another parasitic disease carried by the sand fly which can infect the human body, namely the lymph nodes, the spleen and the bone marrow and which causes the body to become susceptible to disease as it attacks the immune system and can result in death due to complications that arise Lyme disease-is carried by ticks and is a disease commonly found in North America, a disease which can result in complications involving the heart and even the nervous system

10 The infectious diseases
Cholera is a parasitic disease which can cause death from dehydration as it causes excessive diarrhea Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and causes fevers, joint and muscle pain, and headaches. Schistomalaisisis a parasitic disease in which the parasite burrows into the body and then infects the organ literally of its choice. Cryptosporidiosis is a disease that, like Cholera causes excessive dehydration especially in small children as a result of diarrhea.

11 Human Health and Extreme Weather Patterns
During global warming there is a potential for an increase in the number of heat related deaths as there is a potential for an increase in the number of extremely hot days Extreme heat can bring about heat cramps due to a lack of water which can lead to heat stroke which can then lead to organ failure and even death The elderly and the very young are particularly susceptible to extreme climates A study done in Canada suggests that the number of people who would die heat related deaths would increase from 70 annually to people by 2050, and that only in the city of Montreal

12 Human Health and Extreme Weather Patterns
A study done in relation to the city of New York shows that the number of people who die heat related deaths annually there would increase to around 1,700 people annually also by only 2050 Also, there a potential trend for more hurricanes when the temperature of the seas increase because hurricanes are fueled by warm ocean waters Although the actual number of hurricanes may not increase as a result of global warming, it is their intensity that is thought to increase, or their potential energy As a result of an potential increase in the intensity and thus possibly the amount of damage many hurricanes could be capable of doing, insurance agencies who are paying for increased amounts of damage due to hurricanes could even go bankrupt as a result

13 Human Health and Agriculture
A good part of the world and its countries rely on agriculture as their main source of income and of food In a first scenario precipitation is expected to increase due to global warming, meaning that many crops will receive too much water and will be drowned as fields flood due to a projected rise of 40 centimeters in sea level In a second scenario the amount of evaporation is expected to increase due to global warming, meaning that even more crops will die due to a lack of water For many countries this change could mean death, in fact that projected number of starving people worldwide is expected to be million people in addition to the 600 million already projected to be starving in 2060

14 Human Health and Water Supply
Due to global warming the amount of annual precipitation and the amount of ice converted to freshwater from the polar ice caps is projected to increase A rise in sea level is projected for 2100 of as much as 40 centimeters This rise in sea level could not only destroy human dwellings and human places of agricultural production but could also destroy many sea-side aquifers which would deplete the general water supply for humankind

15 Human Health and Air Conditions
Due to global warming, the amount of smog that is created by nitrous oxide, or ozone that is near the ground, will increase An increase in the amount of smog near the ground level could potentially result in fatally warm summer days for those humans sensitive to such gases As gases such as smog enter human lungs, they can increase the potential of lung infection which can lead to death

16 What else is affected by global warming?
Coral reefs- As the sea level rises the more and more coral reefs are being killed as they are subjected to cooler, darker waters Greenland- The country of Greenland, a good percentage of which is made up of ice, is likely to melt significantly should global warming continue, causing sea levels to rise significantly and drowning many coastal communities The polar ice caps- As global warming continues the polar ice caps are melting with speed and are diminishing all over the globe, causing many animals who inhabit the same areas as these polar ice caps to loose part of their habitats Weather patterns- Weather patterns will greatly be affected by global warming as the weather must take into account a warmer climate Wetlands- As sea levels rise due to global warming the number of wetlands diminishes as they are drowned by the rising waters

17 Predictions for the future:
The Hadley Center for Research on Climate Control has made a number of predictions about the future of climate change and its results by the 21st century, such as the following; The surface temperature globally will have risen at an average of 3.2° at a minimum of .3 worldwide The mean daily precipitation will have increased by .2 millimeters globally The mean soil moisture will have decreased by a mean of 2 millimeters of moisture globally The sea level will have decreased by a mean of .42 meters globally The volume and area of artic sea ice will have dramatically decreased

18 How can we help to stop/what is being done to stop global warming?
One way people can help to stop global warming is by using alternate forms of energy that are not using up fossil fuels, products that create greenhouse gases when they are used Some of the forms of renewable energy that have been suggested as alternatives are wind energy and solar energy Another way we can stop global warming is by attempting to take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere such as carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, through techniques such as carbon sequestration There are four main ideas for carbon sequestration; to store carbon dioxide in the ground, to store carbon dioxide in the ocean floor, to increase the abilities of certain plants and animals to take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and to look at the genome sequences of certain plants and animals who produce methane, hydrogen, or help to store carbon dioxide Already a number of different projects are being done such as by Eric A. Davidson and Neil Scott of the Woods Hole Research Center who are attempting to increase the carbon sequestration capacity of certain trees The company Statoil, the State Oil company of Norway, is also already setting limits on how much carbon dioxide they can produce and are keeping their emissions at that level by injecting any extra carbon dioxide their company produces into the sea floor off the coast of Norway

19 How much do you know? (A short quiz)
What causes global warming? Why does it cause global warming? (Slides 2-4)

20 How much do you know? (A short quiz)
What are two of the infectious diseases that have a potential for becoming more prominent as a result of global warming? (Slides 9-10)

21 How much do you know? (A short quiz)
What is one natural disaster that could become potentially more harmful to humans due to global warming? How would it be harmful physically? Financially? Economically? (Slide 12)

22 How much do you know? (A short quiz)
How is it that global warming could cause the sea level to become lower while it could also cause the sea level to rise in certain areas of the world?

23 How much do you know? (A short quiz)
What are some other ways that anyone at home could help to reduce carbon emissions?

24 The End (But not of global warming)
(See for more details)

25 Bibliography 1. Author not listed (done by the Hadley Center) Climate Change Predictions. The Hadley Centre Website on Met Office. January 2, <> Organization; The Hadley Centre on Climate Research. Last update not listed. 2. Author not listed. Global Warming. OzEstuaries. Downloaded January 2, <> Organization; National Land and Water Resources Audit and the Coastal Cooperate Research Centre for Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management. Last update not listed. 3. Author not listed. (Based on the Summary for Policymakers of the Third Assessment Report written by Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.) Scientific Facts on Climate Change and Global Warming. Downloaded on January 2, <> Organization; Green Facts. Last updated July 3, 2005. 4. Author not listed. Medical Encyclopedia for Malaria, Toxins, Dengue Fever, Encephalitis, Leishmaniasis, Schistomalaisis, Heat Stroke and Cryptosporidiosis. Medline Plus. Downloaded January 2, Organization; U.S. National Library of Medicine and The National Institutes of Health. Last updated; December, 2005. 5. Author not listed. The Effects of Global Warming. The Effects of Global Warming. Downloaded June <>. Organization and update not listed.

26 Bibliography 6. Author Unlisted. Carbon Sequestration. Enhancing the Natural Terrestrial Cycle. Current Projects. Carbon Sequestration in the Oceans. Sequencing Genomes of Micro-organisms for Carbon Management. Office of Science. April 4, <> Organization: U.S. Department of Energy. Last Updated; April 2004. 7. Epstein, Paul R., Andrew Haines, and Anthony J. McMichael. “Environment and Health: 2. Global climate change and health.” Canadian Medical Association Journal. Originally Published September 19, 2000; pages Downloaded on January 2, <> Organization; Canadian Medical Association Journal. 8. Gardiner, Lisa. Effects of Climate Change Today. Windows to the Universe. Downloaded on January 2, <> Organization; University Cooperation for Atmospheric Research. Last updated June 23, 2004. 9. Haines Andrew, and McMichael, Anthony J. “Global Climate Change: The Potential Effects on Health.” Printed in British Medical Journal on September 27, 1997; pages Reproduced on British Medical Journal Website. Downloaded on January 2, <> Organization; British Medical Journal. 10. Hopwood, Nick and Jordan Cohen. Greenhouse Gases and Society. University of Michigan Website. Downloaded on January 2, <> Organization; University of Michigan. Last update not listed.

27 Bibliography 11. Perkins, Sid. “Dead Heat.” Science News. Published July Reproduced in ProQuest. July 3, <> 12. Walter, Katie. A Solution for Carbon Dioxide Overload. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. April 4, <> Organization: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory-University of California. Last Updated; around December 2000. 13. Watson, Robert T., et al. Climate Change 2001: Synthesis Report Summary for Policymakers (an assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Downloaded on January 2, <> Organization; The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Last updated 2001. 14. Image not from sites above on Slide 3; drawn by Carolyn Vasko, taken from < >

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