In the first "Matrix" the end of the twentieth century is not accidentalis the pinnacle of human civilization. In 1999, the world's 6 billion people looked to the future with optimism, which cannot be said about today's everyday life. The COVID-19 pandemic is now in its third year, and the world is threatened not only by nuclear war, but also by famine. Add to this the effects of climate change, which, as scientists have recently found, makes diseases much more dangerous. After analyzing more than 70,000 scientific papers on the impact of climate change on human health, researchers from the University of Hawaii Mamoa concluded that more than 58% of diseases were exacerbated due to global warming. Drought, wildfires, floods, rising sea levels and changes in land cover have already led to the spread of diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi.
- 1 Heat and pathogens
- 2 Health and climate
- 3 Mass migrations
- 4 Drought and "hungry stones"
Heat and pathogens
Abnormally hot weather again this yearhit the planet, and the highest temperature was recorded on July 14 in Portugal, where the thermometer needle rose to a record + 47 ° C. In Italy, during the first two weeks of July, the heat wave resulted in a 21% excess death rate. At the same time, the intensity and duration of heat waves is growing every year and greatly worries scientists.
The fact is that the rise in temperatures in different regionsthe planet can lead to the migration of mosquitoes (disease vectors), and dangerous bacteria due to floods are spreading at an unprecedented rate. What’s more, the pathogens themselves are getting stronger – they too need to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Alas, climate change brings people closer to pathogens>
The rapidly changing environment is forcing wild animals to come into contact with humans, transmitting dangerous pathogens to them, be it bacteria, viruses or parasites. Scientists call these diseases zoonoses because of their ability to cross the species barrier.As experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) note, "zoonoses make up a significant proportion of all identified and existing infectious diseases."
Infections are usually transmitted to humans throughdirect contact with animals, as well as through water, food or the environment. In Russia, for example, several dozen zoonotic diseases are common, including COVID-19, foot and mouth disease, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, etc.
Do you want to know what kind of weather will prevail in Russia in the future and what to do about it? That way!
Health and climate
Scientists have long known about the impact of climate onhealth. However, most research focuses on a few diseases (or one in the case of the novel coronavirus pandemic). According to the results of a large meta-analysis published in the journal Nature Climate Change, 218 of 375 diseases can be exacerbated by heat, sea level rise and wildfires.
(The full list of threats from climate change can be found here).
In the course of their work, a team of scientists from the University of Hawaii Mamoa reviewed more than 77,000 scientific articles on the relationship between climate and infectious diseases and concluded that there are too many diseases and ways of transmissionmeans adapting to climate changeit won't be easy. Ultimately, more than 58% of human diseases were analyzed, and 375 of them interacted in one way or another with a changing environment.
Given that climate change is affectingWith more than 1,000 transmission routes for infections that are rapidly spreading around the planet, we concluded that society will not be able to successfully adapt to the effects of global warming, highlighting the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, write the authors of the new study.
So, mosquitoes breed better after floods andstorms, and rising temperatures contribute to increased rainfall. Together, these factors have resulted in mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, birds and mammals carrying deadly diseases such as Lyme disease and malaria. Pleasant little, agree.
Read more about how climate change affects the body and human health here.
Another way of transmitting infections isclimate refugees forced to flee their homes due to the effects of global warming. Thus, periods of intense heat help to spread cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis, skin diseases, etc. Wherein the pathogens themselves become stronger, and the immune response of the human body weakens.
The authors of the work also point out that environmental change forces wild animals to approach people, and wildfires drive bats and rodents into new areas, increasing the likelihood of transmission of Ebola and bubonic plague.
Recently, poliomyelitis has been found in the sewage of London, and monkeypox continues to march around the planet. However, like COVID-19. On average, more than 200 diseases pose a threat to global health.
Drought and "hungry stones"
Alas, the consequences of climate change are notlimited to disease. According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), a drought in the Horn of Africa in 2022 could lead to mass starvation, affecting between 14 million and 20 million people. Experts observe the current situation for the first time in the last 40 years, noting that the inhabitants of Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia faced hunger.
Drought is also worrisome in Europe, where recentlydiscovered the so-called "hungry stones" - stone blocks immured in rivers, on which the inhabitants of previous centuries left warnings to future generations. It is believed that their appearance indicates a large-scale drought and subsequent famine.
On one of the "hungry stones" found in the shallow rivers of the EU, the inscription "Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine" “If you see me, cry.”Moreover, droughts and famines, according to the records, occurred in 1417, 1616, 1707, 1746, 1790, 1800, 1811, 1830, 1842, 1868, 1892 and 1893. The stones were also shown from the water in 1918 during the First World War.
However, this is not the first time that"hungry stones" in recent years, and the European continent from time to time suffers from droughts and unbearable heat. It turns out that stones with a gloomy message will be found in subsequent years. But there is one "but" - The current drought in Europe could be the worst in 500 years. At the same time, a growing number of studies link intense and prolonged droughts to climate change.
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But the stones are not the only hidden relicappeared in European rivers due to drought. So, in June, a sunken barge from the Second World War surfaced on the surface of the Italian Po River, and a state of emergency was declared in the northern regions of the country due to abnormally high temperatures.
According to the British The Guardian, the threat of human extinction is not well understood, and the rise in temperatures on Earth could have catastrophic consequences.
Read more about why scientists from around the world consider climate change the main threat facing our civilization, we told earlier, do not miss it!