Climate change affects people’s daily lives

Climate change is having a major impact on many aspects of human life. Droughts, forest fires, floods and other natural disasters are changing the human habitat. The effects of climate change will increasingly be felt in people’s daily lives, including health and food production.

Climate Change and Food Security

Food security, which deals with access to and availability of food, is not a new issue. Considering that around 815 million people in the world are hungry (FAO 2015, The State of Food Insecurity in the World), i.e. do not have secure access to food, climate change can be seen as a further aggravating factor for food security. Climate directly or indirectly affects the entire human food supply chain.

Climate change can affect access to food, the availability and use of food, and the stability of supply systems. These changes in turn affect livelihoods and distribution channels, as well as human health and food production.

Agriculture is important for food security in two ways: it produces the food that people consume, and it is the main source of livelihoods for much of the world. Agriculture, fisheries and forestry are vulnerable to climate change. In general, temperate regions will experience positive impacts compared to tropical regions. The level of food production will have an impact on food supply at both local and international levels. If there is a higher food yield in the temperate regions, the tropical regions will have a lower food yield.

In summary, environmental change increases the risk of hunger and malnutrition through

  • Extreme weather events
    Environmental change increases the intensity of common disasters such as floods, storms, cyclones and droughts. This will affect food security and livelihoods. Climate change-related disasters can destroy crops, affect infrastructure, destroy vital community assets, disrupt livelihoods and increase poverty.
  • Long-term but gradual climate risks
    Climate change also causes sea levels to rise, which in turn affects people’s livelihoods. Rapid glacial melt can affect the reliability, quality and availability of water. This will then affect flood patterns and future droughts.

Climate change – potential impacts on human health

The impacts of climate on human health are diverse and significant. Exposure to the health hazards associated with these climate changes affects people in different communities in different ways. As the environment changes, the severity and frequency of weather and climate phenomena – such as rising temperatures, droughts and heavy rainfall, and some other types of severe weather – are changing.

Climate change can therefore affect human health in two main ways:

  • By changing the severity of health problems that are already affected by climate or weather factors
  • By creating unanticipated health problems or threats in places where they did not previously exist

Some harsh impacts can be mitigated or prevented with sound measures. For example, disease and mortality in individuals can be reduced, while the health of the environment can be improved for future generations. Other measures help to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances and to improve the capture or removal of carbon from the environment. Adequate environmental action will have a positive impact on both environmental change and nature, and subsequently on human wellbeing.

The following diseases can be linked to environmental change:

  • Respiratory diseases such as asthma and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Heat- and weather-related illnesses and death
  • Poor nutrition and food poisoning
  • Stress-related illnesses and mental disorders
  • Neurological diseases and disorders
  • Water-related diseases
  • Musculoskeletal diseases and cancers

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends. By doing so, you will help raise awareness of climate change. Thank you very much!

ERIZON: Top Environmental Concerns

World Food Programme (WFP): World Food Programme

Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)

Wikipedia: Food Security

Wikipedia: Climate Change

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